Victim's Brother: This Is Why I Hugged the Shooter

Brandt Jean talks about his now-famous embrace with Amber Guyger
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2019 12:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Feelings are "mixed" about the "remarkable" hug that the younger brother of Botham Jean gave to Amber Guyger at her sentencing hearing, per the Jean family attorney, but one person who's sure that what he did was right is Brandt Jean, ABC News reports. The 18-year-old made an appearance on Good Morning America on Friday, and he explained that his embrace of forgiveness was to give himself some relief. "This is what you have to do to set yourself free," Jean said. "I didn't really plan on living the rest of my life ... hating this woman." On why his words alone didn't seem sufficient: "With usual instances the words only, they mean something, but I felt like that wasn't enough. That was just my gesture, my decision ... of letting her know that I truly forgive her."

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He concedes he reached the forgiveness stage more quickly than many people would, but he wants others to "understand that she is a human being. She still deserves love." As for what they whispered to each other while they hugged, Jean would only say: "Kind words." Jean's sister, Allisa Findley, also spoke out, via the Instagram account of the family's attorney. "Am I happy with the sentencing? No, but I can live with it," she writes. As for what her brother did in court, she's with him all the way. "What Brandt did, I truly admire," she notes. "I pray everyday to get to the point of forgiveness and he is already there. That's a weight lifted from him. He hugged our brothers killer to free himself and I stand behind him 100%." She adds that she gets how some might not be ready to forgive, but she warns people to leave Brandt alone and "keep the negativity to yourselves." (Read more Amber Guyger stories.)

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