DALLAS - The brother of Botham Jean, the black man who was shot and killed by a white Dallas police officer who said she mistook the victim’s apartment for her own, embraced the woman Wednesday after she was sentenced to a decade in prison.
Brandt Jean provided an impact statement after the former officer, Amber Guyger, was sentenced.
“I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t ever want you to go to jail,” he said. “I want the best for you because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want you to do. The best would be to give your life to Christ.”
“I love you as a person. I don’t wish anything bad on you,” Jean said to the 31-year-old Guyger, before adding, “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug?”
The pair met in front of the bench and hugged while Guyger cried loudly.
Jurors could have sentenced the former officer to up to life in prison or as little as two years, but prosecutors asked them to send her to prison for 28 years, which is how old Botham Jean would have been if he was still alive.
The 10-year sentence, which will make Guyger eligible for parole after five years, was met with boos and jeers by the crowd outside of the packed courtroom, with one woman saying, “It’s a slap in the face.”
The shooting drew widespread attention because of the strange circumstances and because it was one in a string of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers.
One of the Jean family lawyers hailed the verdict as "a victory for black people in America" after it was handed down Tuesday.
The jury was largely made up of women and people of color.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.