There were few dry eyes in a Texas courtroom Wednesday after sentencing in a high-profile case.
A jury gave former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger 10 years in state prison after being found guilty of murder. Later, the victim's brother would ask for — and receive — the OK to hug Guyger.
This is the moment. A moment so very few have ever witnessed. The brother of a murder victim asking the judge to hug the person who took his brothers life.#AmberGuygerTrial#BothamJeanpic.twitter.com/HSYEqpIzjx— Doug Dunbar (@cbs11doug)October 2, 2019
Guyger entered the wrong apartment last year after leaving work for the day and claims she believed Botham Jean, 26, was an intruder. She shot him as he watched TV and ate ice cream, prosecutors said.
Jean was black while Guyger is white. That led to tensions between the city's black community and police.
Guyger's defense team claimed she was tired after working a long day and became confused when entering the complex's parking garage. She parked on the wrong level and thought Jean's apartment was hers. It was a series of mistakes, but not a crime, they said.
After the sentencing, victim impact statements were read. Several members of Jean's family and circle of friends spoke, including brother Brandt Jean.
“I love you as a person and I don’t wish anything bad on you,” Brandt Jean, 18, told Guyger, according to The Washington Post.
He told Guyger he forgave her and then stunned courtroom observers by asking if he could give the ex-cop a hug. The two soon embraced in a moment that caught eyes around the world.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot was stunned, calling the hug an “amazing act of healing.”
“I would hope that the greater community, not just Dallas, not just Texas, but the greater United States, could gain a message from that,” Creuzot said at a press conference a short time later.
The judge, Tammy Kemp, also hugged Guyger. In addition, Kemp gave Guyger a Bible to take with her to prison.