Atheist group slams Texas judge for giving Bible to killer cop Amber Guyger, files complaint citing judicial misconduct

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) accused Judge Tammy Kemp of 'transmitting her personal religious beliefs as a state official in an official proceeding of the gravest nature'


                            Atheist group slams Texas judge for giving Bible to killer cop Amber Guyger, files complaint citing judicial misconduct

Former Texas police officer Amber Guyger's trial for killing her black neighbor at his own home has been under intense scrutiny from the very beginning.

The fact that she was sentenced to a mere 10 years of imprisonment for taking a life while people of color have been handed harsher prison terms for lesser crimes has also been a topic of discussion.

Apart from the sentencing, the trial saw some extraordinary and highly controversial events take place in the last moments of the trial: A cop who was on courtroom duty was seen fixing her hair amid proceedings. The victim's brother hugged Guyger and tearfully revealed that he loves her as a person. If this wasn't bad enough, the presiding judge handed Guyger a Bible after sentencing her and even gave her a hug.

State District Judge Tammy Kemp opens a Bible to John 3:16 before giving it to former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, left, before Guyger left for jail, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Dallas (AP)

After Guyger's sentence was read out and before she was taken away from the court, Texas State District Judge Tammy Kemp decided to give her a copy of the Bible. She even went on to read John 3:16 from the New Testament, which goes, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

This has left many atheists enraged, who accused the judge of bringing her personal religious beliefs into the courtroom.

Judge Kemp has since been accused of judicial misconduct with the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filing a complaint against her and the Lone Star State government agency on Thursday.

Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger gives State District Judge Tammy Kemp a hug after the judge had given her a Bible and before Guyger left for jail, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Dallas (AP)

According to the Washington Post, the atheist group from Madison, Wisconsin, is refusing to join the celebration of compassion shown by the judge. They are accusing her of crossing an ethical line after she gave Guyger a hug and handed her a Bible after sentencing her to 10 years in prison.

“Delivering Bibles and personally witnessing as a judge is an egregious abuse of power,” the foundation wrote in a letter to Texas officials. Kemp “transmitted her personal religious beliefs as a state official in an official proceeding of the gravest nature.”



 

While the judge is yet to comment on the development, her former boss and former Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins responds to allegations saying he did not think her actions were out of place. “You’re having people of color that have the opportunity to make judges now,” Watkins said. “Their life experience and their religious points of view are different than what we’ve seen in the past. That’s just the evolution of our judicial system.”

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