CHICAGO — Chicago State University professor and former CLTV host Garrard McClendon spoke to WGN on the importance of forgiveness in light of the sentencing of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who was on trial for the shooting death of Botham Jean. McClendon's parents were found shot dead in 2009.
Guyger was fired from the Dallas Police Department after the shooting and was convicted of murder last week and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Jean's brother, Brandt Jean, said he forgave McClendon and hugged her in the courtroom shortly after her sentencing.
McClendon told WGN that forgiveness is different for every person and that it's "about what's in your own heart."
McClendon found out about his parents' deaths "minutes before" he went on-air, according to the Chicago Crusader. His parents had just celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary the weekend that they were killed.
Yet McClendon forgave the killers, Reo Thompson and Gregory Brooks, Jr. within an hour. He told WGN he had to forgive in order to move forward with his life.
"If you have to go through that time element that takes too long, that's only going to hurt your heart," he said. "It's going to consume you. And to not be consumed, you have to forgive."
He forgave the teens to their face during their sentencing hearing, which drew some criticism.
"On an earthly realm – problematic," he said. "On a spiritual realm, it was the right thing to do."
You can read more about McClendon and learn more about his documentary "Forgiving Cain" by heading to his website, garrardmcclendon.com.