Dallas Judge Tammy Kemp Defends Giving Amber Guyger a Hug and Bible at Sentencing

A Dallas judge said Monday she “would not” and “could not refuse” giving a hug and a Bible to the former police officer she had just sentenced to 10 years behind bars for killing an unarmed neighbor, Botham Jean.

District Judge Tammy Kemp, who is black, has come under fire for the compassion she showed last week to Guyger, who was convicted of second-degree murder.

Guyger, who is white, accidentally barged into the apartment of her black neighbor Sept. 6 last year. Believing Jean was an intruder, Guyger, who had just finished a shift, drew her weapon and gunned down the 26-year-old in his own home.

During Guyger’s sentencing hearing, the victim’s brother, Brandt Jean, also said he wished Guyger well and hugged her.

Both his and Kemp’s physical embrace of Guyger, 31, have angered some in the African American community.

“Following my own convictions, I could not refuse that woman a hug. I would not,” Kemp, who has acknowledged her Christian faith, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“And I don’t understand the anger. And I guess I could say if you profess religious beliefs and you are going to follow them, I would hope that they not be situational and limited to one race only.”

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SOURCE: NBC News, David K. Li