The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration announced Tuesday (Dec. 3) that the brother of Botham Jean, a Dallas man shot to death in his own apartment, was honored for his courtroom hug of the police officer convicted in the killing, reports NBC News.
Brandt Jean, 18, accepted the 2019 Ethical Courage Award from the Texas-based institute alongside his family and law enforcement leadership, NBC reports. He received the award after publicly embracing officer Amber Guyger in court on Oct. 2, forgiving her for the murder of his brother.
According to NBC, Gregory Smith, director of ILEA, said 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.”
The hug sparked debate on whether or not forgiveness is acceptable in cases of police brutality, and NBC reported that Jean was hesitant in accepting the award because of the danger posed to young Black men.
“I am honored to accept it on behalf of my brother Botham Shem Jean, who was an example of ethical leadership,” Brandt Jean told those who attended the gathering, NBC reports. “I never intended for the statement that I made to the person who murdered my brother to receive such international recognition. After being found guilty by a jury of her peers, sentenced under the law, Miss Guyger needed to be forgiven and I needed to be free from the burden of unforgiveness.”
But in doing so, Jean made sure to address the law enforcement who attended to think twice before shooting.
“I want you all to know that I am not a threat — that young Black males are not inherently dangerous or criminal. I implore you to champion the causes and procedures that amplify the value of all lives,” Jean said, according to NBC.