Man Hugs Cop Who Killed His Brother, Bringing Judge To Tears
The murder trial of a former Dallas cop who shot and killed her unarmed neighbour in his home last year ended in a dramatic gesture of forgiveness.
The brother of the victim, Botham Jean, hugged former police officer Amber Guyger -- a gesture that brought even the judge to tears.
In an interview with CBS News' Omar Villafranca, the victim's mother, Allison Jean, said she was surprised by the moment her 18-year-old son Brandt offered forgiveness to his brother's killer.
"What he did today, was remarkable, and he did it all on his own," she said. "What Brandt did was to cleanse his heart towards Amber … I do not want it to be misconstrued as a complete forgiveness of everybody."
She said there is plenty of blame to go around for the murder of her son Botham, not just with Guyger. In her eyes, multiple Texas agencies share the responsibility.
Jean family attorney Daryl Washington says Brandt showed Guyger the compassion Botham would have given.
"If Amber Guyger had of just spoke to Botham when she walked in the apartment, Botham would have been the type of guy to say, let me get you a bowl, join me, have some ice cream," Washington said.
Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for murdering Jean, though she could have received up to 99 years. She will be eligible for parole after five years. People angry over what they describe as a lenient sentence took to the streets to protest overnight. Allison Jean said that a murder conviction "is justice" but that "there is a lot that has to be done by the Dallas Police Department, by the Texas Rangers, by the city of Dallas."
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said she is launching an internal investigation into issues revealed during the trial — including allegations of tampering with evidence and protecting Guyger.
"I acknowledge that there are things that we need to change. There are areas of concern that we need to address," Hall said.
Whenshe said she's not ready for forgiveness. Now, she said, she's "getting closer to it."
There was another usual moment in court. Judge Tammy Kemp hugged the Jean family then also walked over and hugged Guyger and gave her a bible to take with her to prison.
The Jean family attorney says they would like to see legislation passed in Botham's name to give police officers additional training. They say if Guyger reacted differently, he might be alive today.
But this isn't the end for Amber Guyger either. Her attorneys are considering filing an appeal.