Slain Baton Rouge Cop Wrote Heartbroken Letter On Race Relations Just Weeks Before Death

Montrell Jackson's emotional Facebook post urged people to not "let hate infect your heart."

18/07/2016 10:01 AM IST | Updated 18/07/2016 10:01 AM IST
Credit: Baton Rouge Police Dept. via AP
An undated photo of Officer Montrell Jackson, 32, killed in the line of duty in Baton Rouge, La.

Montrell Jackson, one of the police officers slain in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday morning, penned an emotional Facebook post just two weeks before he was killed.

The post contemplated the difficulty he experienced of being both a black man and a cop in America.

“I’m tired physically and emotionally,” Jackson, 32, wrote on July 8, after Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police outside a Baton Rouge convenience store and five officers were gunned down in Dallas, Texas. “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 was one of three officers killed this weekend in the line of duty by 29-year-old Gavin Eugene Long. It’s still unclear if the gunman sought to retaliate against law enforcement or if the shootings were related to another crime. 

The latest attack on police came on the heels of rising public outcry over the spate of violence against people of color by law enforcement officials. At least 146 black people have been killed by police this year, according to a project by The Guardian to track such deaths.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Joycelyn Jackson called her brother Montrell “a wonderful person” who loved his newborn son. She told the newspaper that she understood the motivation behind the Black Lives Matter movement, but condemned acts of violence against law enforcement.

“It’s coming to the point where no lives matter,” she said. “Whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or whatever.”

In his earlier Facebook message, Jackson wrote that in such “trying times” society must band together “because hate takes too much energy.”

“Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better. I’m working in these streets so any protestors, officers, friends, family, or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer. I got you.”

Jackson was survived by his wife and son. A GoFundMe page has been set up in his honor.

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