Guyger, Kemp, Bible
Judge Tammy Kemp gave Amber Guyger — found guilty of fatally shooting Botham Jean in his own apartment — a hug and a Bible at her sentencing. Kemp came under fire for both possibly breaching the separation between church and state and giving Guyger preferential treatment. (Photo: screenshot via Law & Crime footage)

Judge Tammy Kemp of Amber Guyger Trial Faces Backlash for Hugging Guyger, Gifting Her Bible

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger’s shooting of Black man Botham Jean, after she allegedly mistook his apartment for her own and him as an intruder, has sparked grief and outrage. However, her emotional trial and sentencing have sparked even more controversy. Judge Tammy Kemp is now coming under fire for gifting Guyger a Bible at her sentencing. The Freedom of Religion Foundation filed a complaint against Kemp, saying she overstepped her boundaries as a person representing the U.S. government.

Related Story: Trial of Amber Guyger Continues, Questions of Preferential Treatment Arise

At the end of Guyger’s trial, Guyger received a hug from Kemp after Jean’s brother, Brandt Jean, offered her forgiveness and a hug amid his testimony.

Related Story: Botham Jean’s Killer Amber Guyger Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

As Kemp gave Guyger the Bible, she said, “This is the one I use every day. This is your job for the next month. It says right here. John 3:16. And this is where you start. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life …'”

The Freedom of Religion Foundation claimed Kemp crossed a line from using her faith as a private citizen to show compassion, to using her power as a government employee to coercively evangelize.

“We, too, believe our criminal justice system needs more compassion from judges and prosecutors,” the complaint said. “But here, compassion crossed the line into coercion. And there can be few relationships more coercive than a sentencing judge in a criminal trial and a citizen accused and convicted of a crime.”

The Foundation is asking for an investigation into the matter.

The compassion Guyger was met with was moving to some, but Kemp, Jean and Guyger’s emotional embraces had many asking whether a Black person charged with murdering a white woman would have the same treatment.

When a video emerged of a Black bailiff stroking Guyger’s hair after she was found guilty, more people spoke out on the affectionate, kind treatment she received, while Kemp defended the bailiff, saying she was simply checking Guyger’s hair for contraband because she had spent the night in jail.

In an interview with CNN, Kemp said she did not believe she would be getting criticized for hugging Guyger if Guyger were Black.

The issue is if Guyger were Black, she likely would not have gotten the same merciful treatment at all.

Cyntoia Brown, who was tried as an adult at 16 for killing a man who tried to rape her after being trafficked and abused by a pimp — served a 15-year prison sentence, no hugs or Bibles offered. Guyger’s sentence is only 10 years.

Related Story: Cyntoia Brown is Free After Spending 15 Years in Prison

Statistically, Black people receive sentences that are around 10% longer than those of white people convicted of similar crimes, according to a study by the University of Michigan Law School.

With Joshua Brown, the key witness in the trial, being ambushed and shot over the weekend, discussions about the preferential treatment Guyger received amid these violent deaths continue.

Related Story: Key Witness in Conviction of Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, Joshua Brown, Shot Dead

Latest News

Sanofi and GSK will Provide up to 300 Million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union

Originally published on sanofi.com. Sanofi and GSK will provide up to 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union Agreement signed today supports scale-up of manufacturing capabilities in several European countries Vaccine candidate uses Sanofi’s recombinant protein-based technology combined with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system Sanofi and GSK finalized…

nielsen

Launching Nielsen Compass: A World-Leading and Powerful Campaign Outcomes Database

Originally published on nielsen.com. ADVERTISERS, AGENCIES AND PUBLISHERS TO LEVERAGE INSIGHTS FROM WORLD LEADING, OUTCOME MEASUREMENT DATASET TO MAKE DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS, OPTIMIZE BUDGETS AND PREDICT SALES ROI Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced that it is launching Nielsen Compass, a powerful, world leading database that leverages the company’s global scale to…

Mastercard Outlines Sustainability Goals

Originally published on mastercardcontentexchange.com. Now is the time to work together to create a better world. If there’s a silver lining to this tumultuous time we’re living through, it’s that the pandemic has shown clearly just how interconnected we all are. The actions of an individual — whether by taking…

Cigna

Cigna Launches Evernorth to Accelerate Delivery of Innovative and Flexible Health Services and Flexible

Originally published on Cigna.com  Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) announces the launch of Evernorth, a new brand for its growing, high-performing health services portfolio. Evernorth will accelerate delivery of innovative and flexible solutions to meet the diverse needs of health plans, employers, and government organizations. Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release…

AT&T Works with Year Up to Close the Opportunity Divide

Originally published on ATT.com Young people are facing strong headwinds as they pursue career success in today’s economy. But there are bright spots. Now and in coming weeks, we’re highlighting individuals working hard to succeed despite their challenges. We’re raising awareness of what’s possible to inspire and encourage others. It’s…

ADP® DataCloud Wins 2020 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Breakthrough Award

Originally published on ADP.com Powerful workforce analytics solution honored for innovative application of predictive analytics and machine learning Recognized as a leading company in the global AI market today, ADP was selected as a winner in the 2020 AI Breakthrough Awards for its innovative workforce analytics solution, ADP® DataCloud. Named as winner for…