On September 6, 2018, Amber Guyger—an off-duty patrol officer in Dallas—entered the apartment of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean. She later said she thought it was her own apartment and mistook Jean for a burglar, shooting and killing him.
One year later, on October 1, 2019, she was found guilty of murder. On October 2, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Botham Jean’s brother Brandt was allowed to give a victim-impact statement, and he addressed Amber Guyger directly.
The result was a beautiful Christian testimony—truly salt and light in a dark and twisted world.
If you truly are sorry, I can speak for myself, I forgive, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.
And I don’t think anyone can say it—again I’m speaking for myself—but I love you just like anyone else.
And I’m not gonna say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I presently want the best for you.
And I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want you to do.
And the best would be to give your life to Christ.
I’m not going to say anything else.
I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do.
Again I love you as a person and I don’t wish anything bad on you.
I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?
If you appreciated this piece, I’d also encourage you to read Dorena Williamson’s “Botham Jean’s Brother’s Offer of Forgiveness Went Viral. His Mother’s Calls for Justice Should Too.”
Here’s how she concludes her piece:
Brandt and Allison Jean are a part of the same family. Both profess faith in Jesus. Their bold and powerful statements offer us an opportunity to stand with them both. We don’t have to pick Brandt’s call for grace at the expense of Mother Allison’s cry for justice.