District Judge Tammy Kemp, came under fire for the compassion she showed last week to Amber Guyger, who was convicted of second-degree murder.
During Guyger’s sentencing hearing, the victim’s brother, Brandt Jean, also said he wished Guyger well and hugged her.
Kemp said she felt her actions were acceptable because the embrace came after all official proceedings had been completed.
“I’m surprised that people think that hug was somehow detrimental,” Kemp told the Associated Press. “Had you witnessed the person who was hurting as Miss Guyger was, I don’t know a person who would have denied her that human contact.”
Kemp also handed Guyger a Bible, which drew protests from civil liberty advocates.
“And she asked me if I thought her life could still have purpose,” Kemp said. “And I said absolutely.”
Kemp then said she went to get her bible and encouraged Guyger to read bible verses after the former officer said she wouldn’t know where to begin to change her life.
“And then she requested of me, a hug. And, I’m embarrassed to say, I didn’t say yes right away,” Kemp said. “She asked me a second time and between those asks I was reminded about my responsibility to show love and compassion.”
Original story appeared on NBC News