BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola are the names of the three law enforcement officers killed Sunday morning, July 17th in a shootout in Baton Rouge, according to sources close to the department and corroborated with social media posts.
Jackson’s aunt confirmed his death Sunday. He was a 10-year veteran of the force, and leaves behind a wife and four-month-old baby boy.
According to CNN, Jackson made an emotional post on Facebook on July 8th — three days after Alton Sterling was shot several times after being tackled to the ground by two white Baton Rouge Police Department officers in Baton Rouge.
Below are the words written by 32-year-old Jackson:
“I am tired — physically and emotionally. I am 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 hate 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, and these last three 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 affect your heart.
This city must and will get better.
I am working in these streets so any protesters, friends, family or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer I got you.”
Since the shooting death of Sterling by Baton Rouge police, the department has worried about threats against officers.
It has been an emotionally charged few days across the country because of the protests stemming from the Sterling shooting and the shooting by police of Philando Castile in Minnesota, plus the ambush on Dallas police officers in which a sniper killed five officers.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday.