The judge who presided over former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger’s trial said she “could not” refuse the convicted cop a hug after she was sentenced last week for killing her unarmed neighbor. On Monday, Dallas County Judge Tammy Kemp told the Associated Press she saw Guyger go through a “marked change” during her trial and wants her to live a purposeful life. “Following my own convictions, I could not refuse that woman a hug. I would not,” she said. “And I don’t understand the anger.”
Kemp also gave a Bible to the 31-year-old, who said she fatally shot Botham Jean after mistaking his apartment for her own. “She asked me if I thought that God could forgive her and I said, ‘Yes, God can forgive you and has,’” Kemp said, noting that Guyer still has “a lot of life ahead of her following her sentence.” “If she wanted to start with the Bible, I didn’t want her to go back to the jail and to sink into doubt and self-pity and become bitter,” she said.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, claiming Kemp “overstepped” by hugging Guyger and giving her a Bible, but the judge insisted that she acted fairly during the proceedings. Guyger received a 10-year prison sentence after a jury found her guilty of Jean’s murder.