Baton Rouge Police Officer Montrell Jackson, who was shot to death by a gunman Sunday, had days earlier posted a message on social media urging those in a city reeling from the shooting of Alton Sterling to not “let hate infect your heart.”
“This city MUST and WILL get better,” Jackson wrote in a July 8 Facebook post. “I’m working 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.”
Jackson, 32, a 10-year veteran of the department, was gunned down Sunday morning in a shooting that also claimed the lives of two other officers and wounded three others, according to authorities.
The shooting occurred just miles away from where Alton Sterling, a Baton Rouge man was shot to death by two Baton Rouge police officers on July 5. Sterling’s shooting was captured on videos that were widely circulated on social media and television, and spurred days of protest over police treatment of blacks and other minorities.
“I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me,” Jackson wrote in his Facebook post. “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 3 days have tested me to the core.”
Jackson was married and had a newborn son, according to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for his funeral costs.
He was described as a “gentle giant” by his father-in-law Lonnie Jordan, who spoke to reporters outside of Jackson’s home Sunday.
Jordan said his son-in-law was “always about peace,” and though Jackson had been working long hours after Sterling’s death, he never showed signs of strain.
On Facebook Jackson wrote that he was “tired physically and emotionally” by the turmoil caused by Sterling’s shooting.
“These are trying times,” Jackson wrote. “Please don’t let hate infect your heart.”