Botham Jean’s father says he could befriend the woman who killed his son
As emotions ran high in Dallas after Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years for the murder of Botham Jean, the victim’s family chose to express forgiveness, with his father even indicating that he could be the convicted ex-cop’s friend at some point.
Directly after the sentencing verdict was read in a Dallas County courtroom on Wednesday, Jean’s brother Brendt, offered his forgiveness and hugged Guyger in the middle of the courtroom. Hours later, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, in a church service, his parents, Allison and Bertram Jean emphasized the importance of forgiveness in their Christian faith, explaining why Brendt made the gesture.
“I’m not really surprised because we know how we raised him..the Holy Spirit was working,” Bertram Jean said about his son’s emotional display. “I’d like to become your friend at some point,” he said about Guyger. “I think I have the ability to do it and I would like to be a friend despite my loss. That’s why we are Christians.”
However, the couple, who had traveled from their home country of St. Lucia, also emphasized that Guyger must still face the consequences of her actions, which resulted in the death of their son.
“Forgiveness for us as Christians is healing for us, but like my husband said, there are consequences,” she said. “I will leave my forgiveness to Amber to myself.”
A jury found Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, guilty in the Sept. 6, 2018 murder of Jean whose apartment she entered, thinking it was her own, but opened fire initially believing Jean was an intruder. A day later, the jury sentenced her to 10 years in prison.
As tense protests filled the streets outside the courtroom with activists outraged over what they consider to be a slap on the wrist for Guyger’s sentence, his mother urged people to support Botham’s legacy through a foundation created in his honor.
However, there was still anger from some in the community who felt that Guyger’s sentence was too short.
“What justice did today was slap us back in the face with levels of injustice,” said activist Dominique Alexander.
Joining him outside the courtroom was Dee Crane, the mother of Tavis Crane, a young who was fatally shot to death an Arlington, Tex., policeman in 2017. She asked through tears: “How many of us does it take to get justice?”