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Botham Jean's Brother Receives Ethical Courage Award for Christ-Like Display of Forgiveness

12-04-2019
Image source: ABC News
Image source: ABC News

Brandt Jean has been awarded for his awe-inspiring display of kindness toward the police officer who killed his innocent brother Botham last year.

On Tuesday, the 18-year-old was given the 2019 Ethical Courage Award by the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA). 

The world watched his emotional declaration of forgiveness to Amber Guyger after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Oct 2.
 
"I want the best for you," he said. "That's exactly what Botham would want you to do, and the best would be to give your life to Christ. I love you as a person. I don't wish anything bad on you," he told Guyger in the courtroom

Then Jean asked Judge Kemp if he could give Guyger a hug which was granted.

Jean and Guyger stood up and met in front of the bench, hugging each other while Guyger cried – a remarkable show of grace that attorneys, court employees, and reporters said they'd never seen in all their years. 

"Each year, we present the Ethical Courage Award to recognize an individual or organization for outstanding ethics and integrity," said Gregory Smith, M.A., director of ILEA. 

"Brandt Jean represents the best in us. 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."

"I can't think of an act that was more courageous. That one act did much to help the Dallas community heal," Smith added.

ILEA said Jean should be applauded for the amazing example he set and his heartwarming gesture of forgiveness. 

Jean was accompanied by his mother, father and sister who traveled from St. Lucia to be at the ceremony.

"I want to thank the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration for offering me this award and I'm honored to accept it on behalf of my brother, Botham Jean, who was an example of ethical leadership," said Jean.  

"I'm truly grateful for this award, and I hope that others can see the light in what I did."

Also Jean took the time to tell police officers that a lack of training and technique is what led to the incident. 

"I am well aware that this agency is responsible for the training of officers in leadership positions around the country. I've come to believe that it was a lack of training and poor utilization of proper techniques at the opportune time that caused Amber Guyger to murder my brother. That is the reason that I stand before you today," Jean said. 

"I want you all to know that I am not a threat, that young black males are not inherently dangerous or criminal."

The award ceremony took place during ILEA's Contemporary Issues and Ethics Conference. Nearly 50 police officials from throughout Texas and surrounding states attended the event.

"Brandt, I see the values instilled in you by your parents. I see the strength given to you by your faith. If the rest of us could tap into just a slice of your moral courage and principles that you displayed in that moment, this world would be a better place," Smith concluded.

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