The Texas judge who came under fire for hugging ex-Dallas cop Amber Guyger and giving her a bible after sentencing her for killing a black neighbor said Tuesday she “could not refuse” the request.
Judge Tammy Kemp said she believed the gesture could help give the killer cop’s life new purpose.
“Following my own convictions, I could not refuse that woman a hug. I would not,” Kemp said in a interview Monday. “And I don’t understand the anger.”
“She asked me if I thought that God could forgive her and I said, ‘Yes, God can forgive you and has,” the judge said. “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 sentenced Guyger to 10 years last week after the disgraced cop was convicted of murder for fatally shooting neighbor Botham Jean, 26, when she accidentally walked into his apartment.
The dead man’s brother, Brandt Jean, asked if he could hug his brother’s killer in an act of compassion — with photos of the embrace showing Kemp in the background wiping away tears.
Guyger then asked if she could hug the judge and she complied.
“I didn’t do that from the bench,” Kemp said. “I came down to extend my condolences to the Jean family and to encourage Ms. Guyger because she has a lot of life to live.”
But one group said the judge’s actions were inappropriate and unconstitutional.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct alleging Kemp “overstepped her judicial authority.”
With Post Wires