Law Enforcement Administration Still So Giddy About That Time Brandt Jean Hugged Amber Guyger, They Gave Him An Award
Brother of Botham Jean received the Ethical Courage Award from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.
December 04, 2019 at 4:35 pm
Brandt Jean, the 18-year-old who hugged the officer that killed his brother, received the 2019 Ethical Courage Award from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the Law Enforcement Administration said Brandt set an example when he hugged Amber Guyger in court after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for murdering his brother, Botham Shem Jean.
Speaking to officers as he was getting the award Tuesday, Brandt said police must do better.
“I want you all to know that I am not a threat, that young black males are not inherently dangerous or criminal,” the 18-year-old said. “I implore you to champion policies and procedures that amplify the value of all lives. I insist that you encourage diverse leadership that can model inclusion and restraint."
Although he forgave Guyger after she shot his unarmed brother, Brandt said he doesn't want any more Black families to be in a position where they'd have to display compassion for officers who kill their loved ones.
"I want you to ask yourself what are you doing to ensure there will be no other families like mine — no other little brothers that have to model ethical leadership in forgiveness of a cop whose lack of training and discipline caused them to carelessly take the life of another,” he said.
The 31-year-old former Dallas police officer shot and killed 26-year-old Botham in September 2018 when she entered the wrong apartment and found him eating ice cream. Before she was convicted, Guyger said she was exhausted from work, so she went to her neighbor's apartment by mistake and thought the 26-year-old was an intruder.
Gregory Smith, director of the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration, presented the courage award to Brandt, The Dallas Morning News reported.
“Brandt Jean represents the best in us,” Smith said. “Despite an unimaginable loss, he saw the humanity in the person responsible for his brother’s death. He saw her pain and regret, and had the ability to show empathy, caring and forgiveness.”
According to the Center for American and International Law, the Ethical Courage Award has been given since 1998. The recognition is typically given to an individual or an organization that shows exemplary leadership or courage related to law enforcement ethics and integrity.
Brandt attended the award ceremony with his family, who said they still haven't seen changes at the Dallas Police Department after the shooting, The Dallas Morning News reported.
“It’s time someone speaks out,” Brandt's sister, Allison said. “We cannot continue to exercise all that grace and mercy and nothing else comes to us.”
Another unarmed Black person was killed by law enforcement in their own home in October when ex-cop Aaron Dean shot and killed 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson in Forth Worth. The officer was responding to a welfare check when he shot through the window and killed her.
According to NBC News, many Fort Worth officers who have killed or harmed Black people in recent years got away with no charges, lesser charges or a decision not to retry the officer.
At least 880 officers were involved in police shootings in Texas between 2010 and 2015, but only seven faced criminal charges during that time, according to a study by The Texas Tribune. The research found that 10 of the 880 officers were fired, while 14 were suspended and another was given a written reprimand.
“Either it won’t reach a grand jury, a grand jury will decide not to press charges or in the rare instances that it goes to trial, more than likely they’re found innocent or not guilty,” Scott Bowman, an associate criminal justice professor at Texas State University told The Texas Tribune. “It has to be particularly egregious [for an officer] to be found guilty.”