The police community and three more families mourned this past weekend after another senseless police shooting took place in Baton Rouge. Officers Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola were stripped of their lives as the back-and-forth violence in our nation continues.
Just days after the Dallas and Georgia incidents, we are hearing more of the same in the news. It’s hard for me to even put into words how downright disappointed I am with how things have been going lately.
The distrust between police officers and these communities seems to be elevating, and homegrown terrorists such as the gunman himself, Gavin Long, are vowing to take matters into their own hands.
On July 10, Long posted a video to YouTube speaking about his commitment to a bloody response after the Alton Sterling shooting. “One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors,” he said, “have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed. Zero have been successful just over simply protesting. It doesn’t — it has never worked and it never will. You got to fight back. That’s the only way that a bully knows to quit.” Long finished his video by commending historical figures such as Nat Turner and Malcolm X.
What strikes me the hardest in this whole situation is fallen Officer Montrell Jackson’s July 8 Facebook response to the Dallas and Alton Sterling shootings. Jackson expressed his passion and love for not only being an officer, but being a part of the community looking for answers as well. “These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart,” he said.
Montrell Jackson advocated for peace and harmony, and was slain by an individual who let hate overcome him. Whether you’re a police officer or someone who is frustrated with law enforcement’s wrongdoings, I think we can all agree that more people don’t need to lose their lives for peace to be reached.