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Grace, Love, And Mercy Met With Vilification. Of Course.

The other day we wrote about the remarkable story of Brandt Jean, the 18 year old younger brother of Bothom Jean who was shot and killed by off duty police officer Amber Guyger who thought Bothom Jean was in her apartment when in fact she was on the wrong floor and in the wrong apartment.

Guyger was rightfully convicted of killing Jean.

Yet during the sentencing phase, Brandt Jean made a remarkable victim impact statement which brought many to tears and ended up with Brandt Jean and Guyger embracing.

In many ways, we thought “this is how it should be. A wrongful act. A conviction for that act. Prison for that act. A statement from family a family member who cannot change the past, but can change the future. A remorseful defendant.”

If only all criminal trials were like this, we’d have a better society in our opinion.

However, we have seen articles that have attacked Brandt Jean, his statement and the support he has received as that support is racially motivated. The idea is that if it were a dead white male shot by a black female cop, people wouldn’t feel that way. That’s a lot of projection onto other people and we can’t and won’t agree with that. To us, the issue is not the color of skins, but the actions matching the words of an 18 year old who is much wiser than many of his older peers.

Now a new group hating what happened in the courtroom has emerged – the “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”

Their complaint is based on these actions by Judge Kemp.

The jury was gone. So was Guyger’s family. Only bailiffs, the attorneys, the Jean family, the judge and a handful of journalists remained.

Kemp wiped away tears, and sobs could be heard in the courtroom.

Jean walked out of the courtroom when he was done. His father, Bertrum, smiled and nodded, giving his son a thumbs-up. Brandt and Botham’s mother, Allison Jean, was in tears.

Kemp then left, too, through a door behind her bench. She soon re-emerged through another door, the one the jury always used to enter and exit. She walked over to the Jean family and hugged them.

“I’m so sorry,” she said to each of them. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you for the way you modeled Christ,” Kemp told Allison Jean.

But Kemp wasn’t done.

She walked over in front of the defense table where Guyger still sat.

Kemp crouched in front of Guyger, still wearing her black robe and gave her a Bible. Those watching on the internet could see the judge and Guyger. But they couldn’t hear what happened.

They spoke quietly, with Guyger in tears and Kemp punctuated the conversation by gesturing at the Bible and saying, “Read this.”

Guyger leaped up to hug Kemp. The judge paused for a second, unsure of what to do.

Then, Tammy Kemp embraced Guyger, who whispered in her ear.

Only the judge’s responses were heard: “Ma’am, it’s not because I am good. It’s because I believe in Christ. None of us are worthy.”

“Forgive yourself.”

In a complaint to the State, the FFRF writes:

Judge Kemp tried Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger in her courtroom from Sept. 23 – Oct. 2, 2019, for the murder of Botham Jean. We write to raise your awareness of Judge Kemp’s actions at the close of the trial — during which she gifted a Christian bible, instructing the convicted criminal on how to read the bible and which passages to pay attention to, and witnessing to that convicted murderer. These proselytizing actions overstepped judicial authority, were inappropriate and were unconstitutional.

They state further:

It appears from the exchange that Guyger may not have identified as Christian, but Guyger’s religion does not change the constitutional or ethical analysis. Even were Guyger an avowed devout Christian, the gesture would still have been inappropriate and unconstitutional because Judge Kemp was acting in her official governmental capacity.

This so called “analysis” of what happened fails on so many levels.

First the FFRF claims that Judge Kemp was “proselytizing” which is the act of trying to convert a person to another’s religion, but the FFRF admits they do not know, have any clue, or is there any evidence that Kemp was trying to “convert” Guyger to Kemp’s belief system.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, Kemp was not acting in her official capacity as a judge or a government employee.

The trial was over. Kemp’s part in the trial was over.

Kemp was on her time – not the government’s time.

It is almost as if the FFRF is demanding that Kemp and everyone else stops being a compassionate human being.

This was a very difficult case. A life was wrongfully ended. The lives of family members were forever affected by the loss of a loved one. Guyger is headed to jail with her life, career and future changed as well.

And yet above it all stood two people – the first being Brandt Jean and the second being Kemp who sought to help people rise above the anguish and despair this trial, conviction and sentence brought forth.

For that act of kindness, the FFRF seeks to have Judge Kemp disciplined.

What is wrong with people that they have so much hate for others that display compassion and offer hope to the downtrodden?

Does this complaint help anyone? Does it make the world a better place?

Or is it contrary to the words and actions of Brandt Jean who in his moment of crisis, sought the best for the person who had wronged him, his family, and his brother.

Some people are simply filled with hate.



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