It was a message of mercy, followed by an emotional hug that surprised a courtroom in Dallas: The juvenile brother of the victim Botham Jean told Amber Guyger, the former police officer who was convicted in jeans murder, that "if it suits you I really forgive – I know I can speak for myself – I forgive you. "
Brandt's unexpected request for a hug during his testimony on the victim's impact on Wednesday after jury sentenced Guyger to 10 years in prison was underscored on Thursday by his father Bertrum Jean, who said CNN that he "felt the same way as Brandt".
"I do not want her to rot in hell, I do not want her to rot in jail." "Bertrum Jean said of Guyger, adding that he expected the punishment – well beyond the maximum in prison life – to be" something more. "
But Botham Jean's mother, Allison Jean, told NBC News that she is not one. I'm not sure she could have reacted like her youngest son at that moment. Although forgiveness is rooted in the Christian faith of the family.
"I do not want forgiveness to be confused with a complete renunciation of responsibility," she added.
The strained feelings among members of the Jean family have not been lost on activists and community members, some of whom are outraged that Guyger's verdict was too lenient, and concerned that it is up to people of skin color, especially the Black Americans, to release their perpetrators without any meaningful accountability.
Media coverage praised the moment between Guyger and Brandt Jean as inspirational, including a tweet from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who said it is a "powerful example of Christian love and forgiveness".
Cornell William Brooks, a former president and CEO of the NAACP, wrote in response to the flooding of Twitter: "Blacks' willingness to forgive, as an excuse for more victims. Black people are SEXY."
The Rev. Michael W. Waters, a pastor and activist from Dallas, told Brandt Jean showed a "beautiful and personal act of Christian forgiveness." The moment became even more poignant when Judge Tammy Kemp, who is black, hugged Guyger and gave her a Bible.
But Waters is worried that these pictures overshadow Allison Jean's statements Condemnation told reporters that the Dallas Police Department must re-evaluate its officer training and learn to de-escalate fleeting situations.
"When Amber Guyger was trained not to shoot in the heart," Allison Jean said, "My son would stand here today."
31-year-old Guyger was released by police in Dallas in September 2018, after She shot Botham Jean, who lived one floor above her in the same apartment complex. Guyger testified that after leaving work, she had been mistakenly parked on the wrong floor of the complex and held Botham's apartment as a burglar.
Botham Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, was unarmed and watching television in his living room when Guyger arrived just before 10pm. Guyger said she thought it was her apartment and that she was worried about her life when she died saw "big silhouette".
The Jean family had previously raised the question of whether they would have had to shoot slower if Botham Jean had not been black.  A jury found Guyger guilty of murder on Tuesday-a rare conviction in a shoot-out by the police. She will receive a probationary sentence in five years.
Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall admitted on Wednesday that the case against Guyger and her trial had revealed "disheartening" allegations of manipulation and training errors and that she would initiate an internal investigation.
Waters also said he was disturbed by the revelations of racist and insulting texts and social media posts by Guyger, including those who made fun of Martin Luther King Jr. and seemed to disparage black officers.
"Black forgiveness doesn" The need for justice and reform can not be abolished, "Waters said," We understand that racism is widespread in the police across the nation. "
The idea of" black forgiveness "Waters was reported in the wake of the 2015 shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina," Waters said.
While the families of some of the victims told the shooter, a self-proclaimed White Commander in Chief, that they had forgiven him, Other families complained that their demands for a national conversation about the race were received with ambivalence.
Waters writing a letter In a book about forgiveness by a family member of the Charleston Church, these talks are credible to this day "Our work for justice in this nation," he added, "The idea of forgiveness alone" sends the wrong e message "if it does not offer the same leniency to people of color who are more imprisoned and imprisoned than whites in criminal justice.
A 10- A year in prison is hard for him to understand because he murdered an innocent man, he added, when he has friends who spend more time on non-violent drug-related offenses.
Granting forgiveness invalidates the statement that black lives play a role, "Higgins said.