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Botham Jean's Mom Speaks Out on Son's 'Remarkable' Hug

Brandt Jean made headlines when he hugged Amber Guyger after her sentencing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2019 11:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Botham Jean's mother, Allison Jean, says it was "remarkable" that her other son, Brandt Jean, hugged his brother's killer after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting Botham Jean in his own apartment when she mistook it for her own. But, Allison Jean said while speaking to CBS News after Amber Guyger's sentencing, she doesn't want the gesture misunderstood. "What he did today was remarkable, and he did it all on his own," she said. "What Brandt did was to cleanse his heart towards Amber ... I do not want it to be misconstrued as a complete forgiveness of everybody." She says multiple Texas agencies share blame—Guyger's trial revealed allegations of evidence tampering and officials protecting Guyger. "There is a lot that has to be done by the Dallas Police Department, by the Texas Rangers, by the city of Dallas."

The Jean family's attorney adds that 18-year-old Brandt Jean's actions toward Guyger were exactly what Botham Jean himself would have done. "If Amber Guyger had of just spoke to Botham when she walked in the apartment, Botham would have been the type of guy to say, let me get you a bowl, join me, have some ice cream," he says. As the Dallas Morning News reports, chants of "no justice, no peace" could be heard from down the hall as Brandt Jean took the stand for his victim impact statement; instead of harsh words, however, he told Guyger, "If you truly are sorry, I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you." As they hugged and cried—leading onlookers in the courtroom, including the judge, attorneys, bailiffs, and reporters, to cry as well—they whispered to each other before breaking apart. The judge and Guyger also shared an emotional hug. (Some are raising issues with both hugs; more here and here.)

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