In the wake of the shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge on July 5, 2016, many expressed their grief and horror at the tragedy in their city. Sterling’s family spoke out about their grief and pain, asking for answers but calling for peaceful protest. Baton Rouge native Christopher J. Tyson wrote an op-ed for The New York Times that cut to the heart of the emotional climate in the city.
“From now on […] the image of my city includes that of a visibly restrained man being shot at point blank range, then left to bleed to death while members of our police force picked his pockets for a gun.”
After the heartbreaking video of Philando Castille’s shooting at the hands of police in Minnesota on July 6, Texas, followed the next day by a lone sniper’s rampage on July 7 in which five police officers tragically were killed, tensions seemed to have reached a boiling point.
One officer, however, said that he was simply “tired.” Officer Montrell Jackson, who died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana today after another reportedly lone gunman shot and killed three police officers and critically wounded two more. Jackson was a 32-year-old husband and a father of an infant son and had served on the Baton Rouge Police Department for 10 years.
— britni danielle (@BritniDWrites) July 17, 2016
The New York Times also identified Jackson as one of the officers who suffered smoke inhalation during a 2007 rescue of an infant from a burning building.
Jackson expressed his heartbreak and dismay at the current state of relationships between police departments and the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve on his Facebook page. His message is one that will surely resonate in the days following the tragic events of today in Louisiana.
We can only hope that Baton Rouge Police Officer Montrell Jackon’s words might speak across the divide and remind us all not to “let hate infect your heart” in the days to come.
For coverage of the shootings in Baton Rouge from ABC News, see video below:
Featured image via Twitter