Judge on Botham Jean Murder Trial Under Fire For Hugging Amber Guyger

Judge Tammy Kemp came down from the bench, spoke with Guyger, gave her a Bible, and hugged her.

On Wednesday, October 2nd, ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the shooting death of Botham Jean.  Emotions were high.

According to reports, there was a mixture of boos and cheers outside of the courtroom.

Inside of the courtroom, Botham’s brother Brandt Jean hugged and forgave Guyger, saying:

I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die, just like my brother — I personally want the best for you…I wasn’t going to 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.

 READ: A Manipulation Of Black Innocence: Botham Jean & How Black People Are Wrong Even When They’re Not

Then something strange happened: Judge Tammy Kemp came down from the bench, spoke and then embraced some of Jean’s family members. She then spoke with Guyger, gave her a Bible, and hugged her also.

 The gesture had a highly divisive reaction on social media:


READ: Ex-Cop Amber Guyger Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for the Shooting Death of Botham Jean

Jean’s parents had a more complicated reaction to Guyger’s sentence. Bertrum Jean, the father of Botham Jean, said he wanted a more severe sentence for Guyger. But, also added that he agreed with Brandt about forgiving her, saying “I don’t want to see her rot in hell. I don’t want to see her rot in prison.”

In an interview with CBS News, Botham’s mother, Allison Jean, said about Brandt forgiving her: “What he did today, was remarkable, and he did it all on his own…What Brandt did was to cleanse his heart towards Amber … I do not want it to be misconstrued as a complete forgiveness of everybody.”

In another interview, she also called out police corruption.

Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

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Tags: Botham Jean

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