Botham Jean’s brother, Brandt Jean, received an award Tuesday from a law enforcement organization for his “display of empathy and forgiveness” toward ex-cop Amber Guyger.
Botham Jean was killed Amber Guyger on September 6, 2018, when Guyger entered the Dallas, Texas, apartment of Botham Jean and fatally shot him. Guyger would later claim she thought she was entering her own apartment and believed Jean was an intruder.
In a shocking and emotional moment in the courtroom during Guyger’s trial, Brandt asked the judge if he could hug Guyger. The judge allowed it and the two embraced and whispered to each other after Guyger was sentenced.
“If you truly are sorry, I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you. I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you,” Brandt Jean told Guyger during victim impact statements following the sentencing.
On Tuesday the Institute of Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA) awarded Brandt with the 2019 Ethical Courage Award.
The director of the ILEA, Gregory Smith, said Brandt’s act of forgiveness helped the community heal after the conviction and sentencing of Guyger.
“Despite an unimaginable loss, he saw the humanity in the person responsible for his brother’s death,” Smith said in a written statement. “He saw her pain and regret, and had the ability to show empathy, caring and forgiveness.”
The Jean family attended the award ceremony but also said they want to see changes in policing.
“There’s much more that needs to be done by the city of Dallas,” said Botham Jean’s mother Allison Jean after sentencing. “The corruption that we saw during this process must stop.”
Guyger, 31, has filed paperwork indicating she plans to appeal her murder conviction.