BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Two weeks before he was killed on the job, Baton Rouge police officer Montrell Jackson wrote on Facebook what it was like to be black and a cop.
Jackson, 32, was killed along with police officer Matthew Gerald and sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola on Sunday morning in Baton Rouge by Gavin Long of Kansas City, Missouri. Long, who was wearing body armor and carrying a rifle, wounded three others before he was killed by police. The killings completed a circle of violence involving police across the country that began when two white Baton Rouge police officers shot and killed Alton Sterling, a black man selling CDs in a parking lot, on July 5.
Two days later, black militant Micah Johnson shot and killed five white police officers in apparent revenge for Sterling’s death and that of Philando Castile, who was also killed by police.
That was the week Jackson was reflecting on when he took to Facebook.
“I’ve experienced so much in my short life and the past 3 days have tested me to the core,” he wrote. “I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat.”
Jackson remained hopeful, though.
“Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better. I’m working in these streets so any protesters, officers, friends, family, or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer I got you.”
Another Monday morning where the top story is something heartbreaking instead of some lighthearted dumbass Monday Morning Metaphor.
Goes without saying that the death of all 3 of the Baton Rogue officers was tragic, RIP to Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald, and Sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola.
The death of Jackson became especially poignant after a post he shared on Facebook a couple of weeks ago went viral immediately following his passing.
And after more and more information came out from friends, family, and people from the neighborhood.
In 2007, Jackson ran into a burning apartment building to save a toddler. “Jackson and other officers tried to reach the toddler using fire extinguishers, but there wasn’t enough time,” The Advocate reported. “The police were driven back by flames, and when medics arrived they had to treat the officers, including Jackson, for smoke inhalation.”
In the overwhelmingly white suburban neighborhood of Juban Parc, Jackson was president of the homeowners’ association, and people loved him.
Jackson took charge of his neighborhood, from organizing pool security to watching out for injured neighbors.
He also complimented his neighbor’s Christmas lights and tried to persuade other community members to get involved.
Jackson was on the force for 10 years and was the father of a 4-month-old boy, Mason, with his wife. [Daily Beast]
Again I know we make our living here as a distraction from the real world and to make people laugh but sometimes stories are just too big and worth sharing that it would be dumb to start off with anything else.