Amber Guyger received only 10 years for killing her neighbor Botham Jean in his own home while he was eating ice cream and watching television. What also shocked many people is Judge Tammy Kemp giving the convicted murderer a hug and a Bible after the sentencing.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The complaint read in part, “Judge Tammy Kemp tried former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in her courtroom over the past few weeks for the murder of Botham Jean. FFRF is urging the commission to investigate Kemp’s actions at the close of the trial: gifting a bible, instructing a convicted criminal on how to read the bible and which passages to pay attention to and proselytizing and witnessing to that convicted murderer. These judicial actions were inappropriate and unconstitutional.”
The complaint also references the hug, which many legal experts have called inappropriate.
The complaint also read, “Kemp appears to have generally handled a difficult and widely publicized trial with grace and aplomb, but that her decision to preach the bible to a criminal defendant was a serious First Amendment violation and signaled to everyone watching that she is partial to Christian notions of forgiveness.”
Freedom From Religion Foundation is asking for the commission to “investigate these actions and educate Kemp on her obligation to remain neutral on matters of religion to prevent future misconduct.”
When hugging Guyger, Kemp said, “You can have [my bible]. I have three or four more at home. This is the one I use everyday. This is your job for the next month. Right here. John: 3:16. And this is where you start, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.'”
She continued, “He has a purpose for you. This will strengthen you. You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith. You start with this.”
She then hugged Guyger and said, “It’s not because I’m good. It’s because I believe in Christ. I’m not so good. You haven’t done as much as you think you have, and you can be forgiven. You did something bad in one moment in time. What you do now matters.”
See the hug below:
On September 6, 2018, Guyger said she mistakingly entered Jeans apartment after a long day at work as a Dallas police officer. She says she mistook Jean for a crook and ordered him not to move. Then she shot him twice before realizing her catastrophic error. Jean was killed at 26 while watching television and eating ice cream.
Guyger’s murder trial took a full seven days, ending much faster than expected. The prosecution rested its case by Thursday, while the defense rested its case by Monday, which is when the jury deliberation started. Guyger admitted under cross-examination that she intended to kill Jean when she shot him, and the former officer also admitted that she was trained in CPR but refrained from performing the life-saving technique on Jean after she shot him. Instead, the 911 call she made along with her actions following the incident suggested that she was more concerned about saving herself rather than Jean.
See her most recent mugshot below: