DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — After a jury sentenced former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean, his brother gave her a hug after giving a statement Wednesday.
Protests broke out throughout the Dallas courthouse after the sentence was given, with people chanting, “No justice, no peace,” in support of Jean’s family. Prosecutors asked the jury to give a 28-year sentence since Jean would’ve turned 28-years-old earlier this month.
But Brandt Jean, 18, said in his victim impact statement that he loves and has forgiven the now convicted murderer for shooting and killing his brother last September.
“I love you just like anyone else,” Brandt said. “I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die… I personally want the best for you and I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want you to do — and the best would be to give your life to Christ.”
After wrapping up his statement, Brandt asked Judge Tammy Kemp if he could give Guyger a hug.
“I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug?” he asked. “Please… Please?”
Shortly after, he and Guyger embraced each other for nearly a minute before both returned to their seats.
According to CBS 11’s Steve Pickett, the tenor and tone outside of the courtroom changed considerably as people watched what Brandt said and did.
Pickett said individuals reacting outside the courtroom, showing passion and anger, changed considerably as they appeared to honor and respect the voice of Jean’s younger brother.
In regard to the hug shared between the two, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot said he hopes the community can learn from the compassion Jean’s brother showed in that moment.
“To think if I’ve ever seen anything like that… I don’t think I have,” Creuzot said. “I think that young man was speaking from his heart. It certainly brought tears to a lot of peoples’ eyes in my office as we were watching it and I know it did down here in the courtroom. I think that’s an amazing act of healing and forgiveness that is rare in today’s society. That young man is 18 and he is a leader… He should guide us in leading.”
Creuzot also said Jean’s family has accepted the 10-year sentence and is ready to finally “move on.”
Guyger was convicted for the murder of Jean Tuesday and faced a five-to-99 year sentence.