Jiggaboo Judge Tammy Kemp Explains Why She Hugged Killer And Gave Her A Bible

Written by Staff
Tammy Kemp Hugs Amber Guyger
State District Judge Tammy Kemp gives former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger a hug before Guyger leaves for jail, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Dallas. Guyger, who said she mistook neighbor Botham Jean’s apartment for her own and fatally shot him in his living room, was sentenced to a decade in prison. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

Last week, Tammy Kemp – the Black Texas judge who presided over the trial in which Amber Guyger, 31, was convicted of killing neighbor Botham Jean – has come under heavy fire for giving the ex-police officer a hug and a Bible. Now she’s explaining why.

According to The Associated Press (AP), Kemp said it was her Christian faith that led her to show Guyger compassion. Despite the outrage and criticism of her actions, she does not regret her decision.

“Following my own convictions, I could not refuse that woman a hug. I would not,” Kemp told AP. “And I don’t understand the anger. And I guess I could say if you profess religious beliefs and you are going to follow them, I would hope that they not be situational and limited to one race only.”

Some people praised both Kemp and Jean’s brother Brandt – who stunned the nation with his act of forgiveness towards Guyger – for their actions.

Many others had the opposite reaction. Some even called Kemp’s actions unconstitutional, while others slammed her for empathizing more with the murderer than the victim. Lots of Black people in particular likened it to a slavery mentality, in which the enslaved celebrate their abusive masters, or a result of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS).” The wondered whether Black defendants would have received the same treatment.

During the infamous case, Guyger who is white, was tried for murdering Jean – a 26-year-old Black native of St. Lucia. who was just minding his business in his own home. Guyger’s defense was that she walked into the wrong apartment due to being tired after a long shift and believed Jean was an intruder.

However, the prosecution painted a picture of a woman who was likely distracted by a lover’s affair she was having with her married partner that had a history of making racist and offensive remarks in social media posts and text messages.

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While her guilty verdict was a win for many justice advocates, her sentence of 10 years was not. Many criticized it as too lenient – one that placed more value on Guyger’s life than Jean’s.

Kemp said after the guilty verdict was read and Brandt spoke to and embraced her, Guyger was a different woman in that courtroom,” reported the New York Times.

According to Kemp, Guyger asked her for a hug, inquired whether her life could have purpose and god could forgive her; and said she didn’t know how to start because she didn’t have a Bible. Kemp said she couldn’t ignore Guyger’s questions, despite being “a little embarrassed” Guyger had to ask her twice.”

“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,” Kemp told AP. “Because she still has a lot of life ahead of her following her sentence and I would hope that she could live it purposefully.”

“I think people are taken aback that I would reach out to Amber Guyger because the act that she committed was so horrific, and the victim was such a good person,” Kemp told CNN in a recent interview. “But I try to look beyond the horrific act, and see the person behind it, realizing that that person would rejoin our society … It’s my hope that she’ll become a productive member of society.”

Not everyone is here for it. People are still angry at Kemp, Brandt, the court reporter and even a Black juror who has spoken out for showing Guyger empathy. They feel it swayed the jury into giving her a lighter sentence.