The world watched in awe early in October when Botham Jean’s brother Brandt, hugged and forgave his brother’s killer after the latter was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Despite his loss, he showed compassion and wished Amber Guyger the best.
In the courtroom, he told the former police officer that he loves her as a person and that he doesn’t wish anything bad on her. He told Guyger that his brother would want her to give her best and that’s to give her life to Christ.
The 18-year-old Brandt then asked the judge if he could hug Guyger and when allowed, he and the woman hugged while she cried. That show of compassion and grace touched the hearts of everyone not just Jean’s and Guyger’s family, but those who watched the court proceedings in the courtroom and on TV screens. It was a Christ-like gesture that none has seen in years happen inside the courtroom.
— Xavi-IceCreamConvos (@MsXaviB) December 4, 2019
“Each year, we present the Ethical Courage Award to recognize an individual or organization for outstanding ethics and integrity. 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,” Gregory Smith, M.A., director of the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA) said.
Smith added that Brandt showed an act of courage that helped the Dallas community heal. He said he saw in the young man the values instilled by his parents and see the strength given to him by his faith.
“If the rest of us could tap into just a slice of your moral courage and principles that you displayed in that moment, this world would be a better place,” Smith concluded.
Brandt Jean says he hopes his brother’s case will lead to changes in police training. “I ask that you remember my brother. A young, Black male who was perceived as a threat by one of your own. What are you doing to ensure there will be no other families like mine?” pic.twitter.com/k6JfU1bZql
— Alan Scaia (@scaia) December 3, 2019
According to CBN, Brandt was accompanied by his mother, father, and sister who traveled from St. Lucia to see him accept the award. In his acceptance speech, he thanked ILEA for the acknowledgment and took the time to remind the police force that he is not a threat and that “young black males are not inherently dangerous or criminal.” He also hoped that others can see the light in what he did.