Judge who embraced killer cop Amber Guyger fears for her family's safety after facing immense backlash: 'She asked for a hug'
Judge Tammy Kemp, in an interview on the Tamron Hall Show on Thursday, said that she generally hugs the victim's family after the conclusion of a violent trial
Judge Tammy Kemp, who oversaw former Dallas cop Amber Guyger's murder trial, has said that she fears for her family's safety after facing heavy heavy criticism over hugging Guyger who shot and killed Botham Jean in his apartment. The judge also gave Guyger a Bible in the moments after she was convicted for Jean's murder.
Kemp, in an interview on the Tamron Hall Show on Thursday, defended her decision to hug the former cop, and said that she generally does that at the conclusion of a violent trial.
When asked if she was concerned for her own safety considering the backlash, the judge said: "My family is concerned but I am not. My faith is strong. If God brings me to it, he'll bring me through it. That's one of the reasons I'm discussing the hug," she said tearfully.
Multiple critics slammed Kemp for hugging Guyger, saying that it was inappropriate and offensive to the victim's family.
Reports state that one group has even asked for a judicial misconduct investigation, while some activists said that the unprecedented gesture took the focus away from justified anger at a police killing.
The judge, however, has continued to defend her actions, saying that the hug was requested by Guyger and she could not refuse it: "Ms Guyger asked for a hug… I don't think any human being would have refused her."
"At the conclusion of every violent trial, I always go over and talk to the victim's family. I usually ask them if I could hug them. I did that with Botham Jean's family. We hugged and we embraced," Kemp said.
"I was turning to exit and I saw Ms Guyger," the judge said, adding that she told the former cop that she wanted her to live a purposeful life. Kemp said that she says this to every person she convicts. She also said that she did not know the cameras were still on when she hugged Guyger and did not think about the possible reaction.
Kemp also explained why she gave Guyger her personal Bible, saying that the former cop told her she did not know how to begin seeking God's forgiveness.
"She said 'I don't even own a Bible.' In that moment, I didn't want to lose Amber Guyger. I went to my chambers and retrieved my Bible," Kemp said. "My legal duty had concluded. I was just a person responding to a person in need." Kemp said that it was the first time she had given a convict her Bible.