Montrell Jackson was one of three police officers shot and killed in Baton Rouge this past weekend. His death, and the deaths of fellow officers Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola, comes in the wake of the deaths of five officers in Dallas — an event that itself was precipitated by the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police.
After the attack in Dallas but before the attack in Baton Rouge, multiple media outlets are reporting that Jackson published the following post on his private Facebook page:
In case the image doesn't load for you, here is Jackson's post in text form:
I am tired physically and emotionally. Disappointed in some family, friends, and officers for some reckless comments but hey what’s in your heart is in your heart. I still love you all because it takes too much energy but I definitely won’t be looking at you the same. Thank you to everyone that has reached out to me or my wife it was needed and much appreciated. 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. I’ve experienced so much in my short life in these last 3 days have tested me to the core. When people you know begin to question your integrity you realize they don’t really know you at all. Look at my actions they speak LOUD and CLEAR. Finally I personally want to send prayers out to everyone directly affected by this tragedy. These are trying times. 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.
The post appears to have been first made public by Hannah Jane Parkinson, a reporter from The Guardian, but was later widely shared across social media. One repost, by online magazine The Undefeated, was retweeted over 11,000 times.
Jackson's words are a tragic reminder that it is possible — even necessary — to be against hateful violence in all its forms, including when it is perpetrated against police and when it is perpetrated by police. The failure of some to condemn one or the other is, at its best, highly disappointing. We must come together to remember Jackson's words and bring his message of hope and peace forward in our own lives.
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