Ethical Courage Award
Given each year since 1998, this award is intended to recognize an individual or an organization for especially meritorious leadership or courage related to law enforcement ethics and integrity. Included among the annual awards are those for Ethical Courage; Noble Service; and Ethics Achievement.
The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration presented its 2019 Ethical Courage Award to 18-year-old Brandt Jean for his display of empathy and forgiveness during the sentencing of Dallas police officer Amber Guyger on Oct. 2, 2019. Guyger was convicted of murder for the death of 26-year-old Botham Jean after she mistakenly entered his apartment thinking it was her own.
“Each year, we present the Ethical Courage Award to recognize an individual or organization for outstanding ethics and integrity,” said Gregory Smith, M.A., Director of ILEA. “Brandt Jean represents the best in us. Despite an unimaginable loss, he saw the humanity in the person responsible for his brother’s death. He saw her pain and regret, and had the ability to show empathy, caring and forgiveness.”
During the sentencing hearing, Jean addressed Guyger, saying that he forgave her and didn’t wish anything bad for her. Then he asked Judge Tammy Kemp if he could give Guyger a hug, which the judge granted, resulting in a long, emotional embrace.
“I can’t think of an act that was more courageous,” said Smith. “That one act did much to help the Dallas community heal.”
Following the speech, ILEA Director Smith said, “Brandt, I see the values instilled in you by your parents. I see the strength given to you by your faith. If the rest of us could tap into just a slice of your moral courage and principles that you displayed in that moment, this world would be a better place.”
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