The Institute of Law Enforcement Administration chose the 18-year-old to receive the prestigious Ethical Courage Award, recognizing him in a special ceremony in Plano, Texas this week, local station WFAA 8 reported.
Brandt made headlines earlier this year when, in an emotional moment, he forgave Guyger and held her in a tight embrace after a judge had sentenced her to 10 years in prison for Botham’s death. The ex-officer fatally shot Jean, 26, in his apartment in September 2018 after reportedly mistaking his unit for her own.
“I forgive you,” Jean’s younger brother told Guyger from the stand, later asking Judge Tammy Kemp if he could the defendant a hug. “I love you just like anyone else … I personally want the best for you. I don’t even want you to go to jail.”
It was this show of empathy the law enforcement organization said made Brandt more than deserving of Tuesday’s honor.
“Brandt Jean represents the best in us,” Gregory Smith, director of the ILEA, said in a statement. “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.”
Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown agreed, telling the CBS Dallas Fort Worth there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Brandt started speaking.
“As he spoke, one of our [police] chiefs said, ‘I think this young man just saved our city,” Brown recalled. “So for him to receive this award, it is so fitting. It’s so appropriate. It’s something that teaches us a lesson.”
At Tuesday’s ceremony, Brandt said it was difficult for him to accept the award from the police professional education organization, saying he was well aware the group is responsible for police training, or lack thereof, used by agencies across the U.S.
“I have come to believe lack of training caused Amber Guyger to murder my brother,” he added.
Members of Jean’s family, including mother Allison Jean, traveled from their native St. Lucia to be in attendance, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The family has continued its calls for further investigation into Dallas PD after reports of possible misconduct in Guyger’s trial, according to the Fort Worth-Star Telegram.
“It’s time someone speaks out,” Allison Jean said following the ceremony. “We cannot continue to exercise all that grace and mercy and nothing else comes to us.”
Guyger’s legal team has since filed paperwork indicating her plans to appeal her murder conviction
Watch more in the video below.