Let’s not distort the gospel by elevating one family member’s words over the other.
Brandt Jean’s response to his brother’s murderer helps us see the gospel.
But so does Allison Jean’s.
Did you miss hers? Only one response was widely shared on social media after the conviction and sentencing of Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer who entered 26-year-old Botham Jean’s apartment and fatally shot him. On Wednesday, Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Jean family was given the opportunity to make a victim impact statement. Brandt used his time to directly address the officer who killed his brother.
He said, “If you truly are sorry, I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you.”
Brandt told Guyger that Botham would have wanted her to give her life to Christ. He asked to give Guyger a hug, and after State District Judge Tammy Kemp gave her okay, Brandt offered a long embrace. In the video, you can hear Guyger’s loud sobs.
Most have probably seen this footage. Brandt’s offer of forgiveness and hug has been shared and praised widely across social media.
But many have likely missed footage from the rest of the family, including these words from Botham’s mother, Allison Jean.
“Forgiveness for us as Christians is a healing for us, but as my husband said, there are consequences. It does not mean that everything else we have suffered has to go unnoticed,” Mother Allison told the court.
What went unnoticed? According to Botham Jean’s mother, the crime scene was contaminated by Dallas police. High-ranking officials deleted evidence. Police officers turned off body cameras and vehicle cameras.
“You saw investigations that were marred with corruption,” Mother Allison said. “While we walk as Christians, we still have a responsibility …