The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration gave its 2019 Ethical Courage Award to 18-year-old Brandt Jean Tuesday for publicly forgiving and hugging former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger who killed his older brother, Botham Jean, inside his own apartment in 2018.
“I am honored to accept it on behalf of my brother, Botham Shem Jean, who was an example of ethical leadership,” Brandt Jean told an institute gathering in Plano, Texas, according to NBC News.
In October, a Dallas County jury convicted Guyger, 31, of fatally shooting Botham Jean, 26, in his apartment in 2018. She said that she mistook his apartment for her own and thought Jean was a burglar. During the trial, the jury heard testimony from neighbors about how often they got lost and wound up “on the wrong floor of the South Side Flats where Guyger and Jean lived,” The Dallas Morning News reported.
Guyger was the first Dallas officer convicted of murder since the 1970s, The Dallas Morning News said.
At Guyger’s sentencing hearing, Brandt Jean told Guyger that she should give her life to God and ask Him for forgiveness as he forgave her as well.
“I am speaking for myself,” said Brandt to Guyger, “but I love you, just like anyone else. And I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die, just like my brother did.
“I personally want the best for you,” he added before asking Judge Tammy Kemp to give the ex-officer a hug. Kemp allowed the two to embrace in a decision that still sparks debate today.
“I never intended for the statement I made to the person that murdered my brother to receive such international recognition,” Brandt said Tuesday. “To be honest, I struggled with it for a long time as I struggled with accepting this award from this agency.”
The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration works to improve the quality of justice by developing law enforcement leaders and practitioners through premier professional education and technical support.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair