When brother of a mur­dered man hugged the mur­derer

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global -

Austin: For­mer Dal­las po­lice of­fi­cer Am­ber Guyger was sen­tenced to 10 years in prison on Wed­nes­day by a Texas jury that found her guilty of mur­der for walk­ing into a neigh­bour’s apart­ment think­ing it was her own and shoot­ing him as he ate ice cream.

The jury came to its ver­dict in less than six hours on Tues­day, con­vict­ing Guyger, who is white, in the 2018 killing of Botham Jean, a 26-year-old black PwC ac­coun­tant. His death sparked street protests last year, par­tic­u­larly when pros­e­cu­tors ini­tially opted to bring the lesser charge of man­slaugh­ter against Guyger, 31. The sen­tence was less than the 28 years pros­e­cu­tors had sought.

“This is a his­toric case and his­tory pro­vides us with a teach­able mo­ment,” said civil rights at­tor­ney Ben­jamin Crump, who also rep­re­sented the fam­ily of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot and killed in 2012 by a civil­ian neigh­bour­hood watch­man who was later cleared in court.

This case was un­like other re­cent high-pro­file killings, such as those of Michael Brown in Missouri and Phi­lando Castile in Min­nesota, since Guyger was not on duty or re­spond­ing to a re­ported crime when she fired.

Af­ter the sen­tence was handed down, Jean’s 18-yearold brother Brandt of­fered Guyger his for­give­ness. Af­ter Dal­las po­lice of­fi­cer Am­ber Guyger, who killed Botham Jean, was sen­tenced to 10 years in prison, Jean’s 18-yr-old brother hugged her and said: ‘I for­give you’

“I for­give you, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will for­give you. I’m speak­ing for my­self, not my fam­ily, but I love you just like any­one else,” Brandt Jean told Guyger.

Brandt Jean then asked the judge’s per­mis­sion to hug Guyger, the judge gave it, and he and Guyger ran to one an­other and em­braced in the mid­dle of the court­room. They hugged, cried and spoke softly to one an­other for about a minute.

Out­side the court­house, the mood was less for­giv­ing. Pro­test­ers blasted the sen­tence as too short, shout­ing, “No jus­tice, no peace!” and “This is so wrong!” “Our life must move on, but our life must move on with change. There’s gotta be a bet­ter day, and that bet­ter day starts with each and every one of us,” said Botham Jean’s mother Al­li­son.

Guyger, who had spent four years on the force be­fore the killing, took the rare step of tes­ti­fy­ing in her own de­fense dur­ing her trial, tear­fully ex­press­ing re­gret for shoot­ing Jean but say­ing she had be­lieved her life was in dan­ger when she pulled the trig­ger.

Pros­e­cu­tors also ar­gued that Guyger did lit­tle to help Jean even af­ter re­al­is­ing her mis­take, call­ing the 911 emer­gency phone num­ber for an am­bu­lance but not ad­min­is­ter­ing first aid. They also showed the jury sev­eral text mes­sages that painted Guyger as racist. Read­ing

Prison — a for­bid­ding Vic­to­rian jail turned LGBT land­mark — is for sale, Bri­tain said on Thurs­day, of­fload­ing a de­serted site best known for hous­ing play­wright Os­car Wilde for the “gross in­de­cency” of gay sex. Cam­paign­ers had hoped to turn the aus­tere brick prison, which lies just west of Lon­don, into an arts cen­tre to pre­serve a site of gay pil­grim­age and honour Wilde’s lit­er­ary legacy. Read­ing jail housed the Ir­ish poet and au­thor — whose ho­mo­erotic

writ­ing shocked Vic­to­rian Bri­tain — for most of the twoyear sen­tence he served for gross in­de­cency. Dur­ing the sen­sa­tional trial he was ques­tioned over his re­la­tion­ship with Lord Al­fred Dou­glas, a poet who penned the im­mor­tal line: “I am the love that dare not speak its name.”

Ital­ian as­tro­naut to watch WC match from space

Ital­ian as­tro­naut Luca Par­mi­tano will be cheer­ing on his team from space when they take on South Africa in their piv­otal Rugby World Cup clash. Par­mi­tano will be watch­ing Fri­day’s match from the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion. It is not the first time Par­mi­tano has bro­ken new

ground in space. In Au­gust he be­came the first per­son to DJ in space when he played a set from the ISS for a club in Ibiza.

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Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman de­fended him against crit­ics who de­scribed him as look­ing un­kempt when he met with Rus­sia’s PM, say­ing he is “very hy­gienic” and that “his body emits a re­fresh­ing scent”. Sal­vador Panelo, who is trav­el­ling with Duterte in Rus­sia, chal­lenged “kib­itzers” to try to be close to the pres­i­dent to find out how he smells. “That’s what ladies tell me when they kiss PRRD, that he smells good,” Panelo said.


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