The brother of Botham Jean, a black man who was murdered in his own apartment by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, was honored with an award on Tuesday for his viral embrace of Guyger during her sentencing hearing.
Brandt Jean, 18, was awarded the 2019 Ethical Courage Award from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration for his “empathy” and “forgiveness” in his display toward Guyger after she was found guilty of killing his brother.
“Each year, we present the Ethical Courage Award to recognize an individual or organization for outstanding ethics and integrity,” said Gregory Smith, the institute’s director, according to local news station NBC 5. “Brandt Jean represents the best in us. Despite an unimaginable loss, he saw the humanity in the person responsible for his brother’s death. He saw her pain and regret, and had the ability to show empathy, caring and forgiveness.”
Brandt Jean received an ethical courage award from Center for Law Enforcement Administration. His brother Botham was killed by former DPD officer Amber Guyger. He publicly forgave her and hugged her as the world watched. @wfaa pic.twitter.com/umGoJUH6oo
— Rebecca Lopez (@rlopezwfaa) December 3, 2019
He added: “I can’t think of an act that was more courageous. That one act did much to help the Dallas community heal.”
During Guyger’s sentencing hearing in October, Jean spoke from the witness stand, telling the former police officer that he did not “even want you to go to jail” and that he hoped she would give her “life to Christ,” adding that “if you are truly sorry … I forgive you.”
“I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you,” he said tearfully.
In an emotional exchange, he then asked Judge Tammy Kemp if he could give her a hug. When she agreed, Jean and Guyger embraced, with audible sobs heard as they hugged.
Botham Jean’s brother to Amber Guyger: “I forgive you.”
In a stunning moment, Brandt Jean asked the judge to allow him to hug the former Dallas police officer after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing his sibling. https://t.co/Pw4gBchCC1 pic.twitter.com/OPNbZrlmxi
— ABC News (@ABC) October 3, 2019
Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison after her conviction on murder charges. She said she mistook 26-year-old Botham Jean’s apartment for her own before shooting him in September 2018, thinking he was a burglar.