Amber Guyger was just sentence to ten years for the murder of Accountant Botham Jean in his own apartment after Guyger mistakenly took him as a burglar in what she thought was her apartment but instead was his.
She blamed the "mistake" on fatigue after working a busy thirteen hour shift when she stuck her key in the wrong door.entering Jean's apartment while eating ice cream. I'm not going to waste time going into what she thought she was doing because you not only know the story, it's not worth continuously repeating.
Like everyone else, I watched the trial and listened to everyone's testimony. I also reacted to the testimony. I couldn't help but NOT feel sorry for Ms. Guyger because in that one act, she just joined the list of police officers responsible for the murder of our black men. Just like Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others, Botham Jean will not be able to give their side of the story because they were killed by an overzealous often trigger happy cops who shoot first and ask questions later. To me all the tears and all the "feel sorry for me" attitude was just that: a sympathy for the jury.
We waited for the verdict some of us more patiently than others. Many of us didn't expect much however I and a few of us were hopeful because the jury consisted of seven blacks, five more minorities (non-black) and four whites. I prayed they would come back with a guilty conviction. They came back with guilty. So at the moment, some justice was served until we got the verdict.
Amber Guyger was sentenced to only ten years. She swayed the jury into giving her a sentence that would get her out in at least five years with good behavior for the murder of a twenty-six year old black man with no criminal record. This angered me and sparked many opinions to Facebook and other social media. However to add insult to injury, she received hugs from the victim's brother and the judge which confused us all.
Then, the judge hugged Ms. Guyger as well. This is after events of her past was brought up including being molested by one of her mom's boyfriends and other events that resulted in her being a police officer. I'm never one to discount or make light of anyone's past pains especially as serious as molestation, I fail to see what that has to do with taking a life. You accidentally walked into Botham Jean's apartment where he was eating and you surprised him, shoot him in cold blood and you only get ten years because you want to milk a painful memory just to get sympathy from the jury? Shame on you Ms. Guyger!
At first, I was angry with all of the hugging but then my empathetic side took over. Then, I started to feel a negative energy. So I prayed. Yes, this is a case of us black folk forgiving those who hate us but this one situation isn't about us. We have to understand that Botham Jean's brother needed this for closure. We can't speak for the family members who hugged and forgave her. Forgiving Amber Guyger doesn't make us good or bad people. Not forgiving her makes us good or bad. We have to feel how we feel in our hearts. What is wrong is getting mad at the family members because you don't know what their going through.
Jean was a man of God and the family and in my opinion, the family was just looking at how he would have handled it if it were one of them instead of him. It's quite easy to be angry and yes, I'd be mad as hell. At some point however, I would realized that holding on to anger would not bring back my family member.
Now I can't say the same thing for Dylan roof or other like him and while I don't give Guyger a pass by any means, I can't speak for the family. As for the judge and the bailiff, I don't give them passes either. I've never known a judge to hug a convicted murderer whether they felt the murder was an "honest mistake" or not.
One last thing that angers us is the amount of years she got as opposed to her African-American counterparts. This morning when I heard the verdict, I also saw an article in which a black man was sentenced to forty five years for shooting a police dog. No offense to dog lovers because I'm one myself but an animal's life is more than a human or is it a race thing? I say it's a race thing because what if the role was reversed and Jean accidentally shot Guyger in her own apartment.
What sentence would he have gotten?
Finally, we're also reminded of the case of Marissa Alexander who fired a warning shot in the air at her abusive husband. She was sentenced to twenty years despite the Stand Your Ground law; despite the fact she was repeatedly abused by her husband; despite the fact that she had to retrieve her weapon from her car in an attempt to escape her abusive husband. Finally, it was all despite having an order of protection against her husband.
Despite pleading to time served after pleading guilty to aggravated assault for the shot fired at her husband and being released, she still had to agree to two years of house arrest. My question is where is Ms. Alexander's hug? Why wasn't the judge so quick to hug her? Why hasn't the husband have some remorse? Marissa Alexander actually was a victim. What does this say for other victims of domestic violence?
It's a matter of race. The blond haired Amber Guygers will always get off when the victim is a black man while the Marissa Alexanders of the world will always be the victim.