A former US police officer, Amber Guyger has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean who was shot in his living room while he was just sitting on his couch and eating ice-cream. Guyger reportedly claimed that she mistook Jean's apartment for her own when she found his door ajar and opened fire, thinking he was an intruder. An emotional scene unfurled when Jean's younger brother Brandt Jean, turned to the judge and asked for permission to hug the woman who killed his brother. He reportedly said that he doesn't wish anything bad for the former police officer and loves her as a person.
After the judge gave Jean the permission to hug Guyger, everyone in the court including the judge got emotional. The video of them hugging went viral and netizens praised him as they had never witnessed something like this before. A Twitter user commented, “My faith in humanity is restored”. Another commented, “This man epitomizes humanity”. A user said that it “takes courage to be so merciful. It seems like what we are lacking these days”.
Keep this video. Make sure your children see it & ask them to store it to show their children & to their children’s children. When the brother of a murdered man hugs the murderer, then the power of forgiveness is no longer just a lesson in a book of morals. It becomes real. https://t.co/jkjdPnl0nx— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) October 3, 2019
This is a definition of living like Christ would like you to. Vengeance is not ours. What a great gesture by Brandt. Christ-like display. 🙏🏾🙏🏾👍🏾— Willy Orji (@WillyOrji) October 2, 2019
Many black Americans, however, saw something all too familiar and were offended as they saw the rush to forgive as a rush to forget racial violence. They reportedly argued that the gesture of forgiveness took the focus off the crime and made it all about the white woman. They also complained that the 10-year sentence served to soothe white people’s conscience and reportedly claimed that white America has practically come to expect black people to forgive when violence is done to them. They further reportedly claimed that the public acts as if black people are not entitled to express anger, even when there is ample reasons to be upset.
Rev. Michael Waters, pastor of a Church in Dallas said, “Very few communities in our nation have had to suffer as much as black people, who have also been robbed of the opportunity to emote from that experience. It’s about removing from black people the agency of their anger, suggesting that we don’t have a right to righteous indignation, that it is somehow unacceptable for Christian black people to tap into their frustration at a death-dealing system that has caused them to bury generations of their sons and daughters.”
(With inputs from AP)