Brandt Jean held his brother’s killer in a tight embrace last week, moments before a jury found her guilty of fatally shooting Botham, 26, after allegedly mistaking his apartment for her own. The act moved many to tears, but also sparked an intense debate about race, religion and forgiveness.
The co-hosts weighed in on the issue, including Whoopi Goldberg who said Brandt’s willingness to move onward was a testament to his Christian faith. Fellow panelist Behar personally disagreed with it all and criticized the judge for hugging Guyger, too.
“But what about the judge hugging?” she asked.
Co-host Sunny Hostin agreed that Judge Tammy Kemp’s behavior was “problematic,” noting how the justice wrapped her arms around the ex- Dallas cop and even handed her a Bible.
“I’ve never seen a judge do something quite like that,” Hostin continued. “I suspect that may make people question her impartiality. They may question her on appeal.”
As the panelists continued discussing Jean’s deeply religious family, Behar questioned whether the same forgiveness would be extended to an African-American suspect by a white family.
“Are there any examples of white people hugging Black guys who’ve murdered somebody?” she asked. “Have we seen that?”
Goldberg brought up the outpouring of forgiveness shown in 2015 by the families of the victims murdered inside Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, but Behar noted that was yet another example of Black people forgiving a white person.
(The killer, Dylann Roof, never asked for or wanted the forgiveness of the victims’ families, saying during the sentencing phase of his trial, “In my (FBI confession) tape I told them I had to. But it’s not true: I didn’t have to. No one made me. What I meant was: I felt like I had to do it. I still feel like I have to do it.”)
“I’m talking about the opposite,” Behar explained. “A white person forgiving Black people.
The veteran panelist further argued there are some crimes that are simply too “heinous” to forgive, such as the Holocaust and crimes against children.
“I think that to hold on to the rage gives you strength also,” Behar added.. “I’m not sure you have to forgive so quickly.”
Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for Jean’s murder.
Watch more in the clip below.