A Baton Rouge police officer who was shot and killed on Sunday posted a heartfelt Facebook message just days before his death in which he said he was “physically and emotionally” tired because of how he was being treated as both a police officer and a black man.
Montrell Jackson was one of three officers killed in Louisiana at the weekend after a gunman opened fire with an assault rifle, shooting “indiscriminately” on a highway.
The 32-year-old police officer, who was the father of a new baby boy, said in a Facebook post on July 8: “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.”
His death comes as tensions continue to rise in the US between law enforcement officials and members of the community.
Jackson had written his Facebook post, which is now being shared widely on social media, just three days after a black man was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge.
That shooting was the beginning of an extremely tense week in the country’s fraught history of race relations.
Another black man was shot and killed by police the next day in Minnesota, with his girlfriend livestreaming the aftermath on Facebook.
Jackson said in his post that he was “disappointed” in some of his family, friends and officers for some of their “reckless” comments.
He continued: “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 realise they don’t really know you at all. Look at my actions they speak loud and clear.”
He adds: “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.”
Friends and family of Jackson described the 10-year veteran of the police force that as a “gentle giant” and a “protector”.
Police officers Matthew Gerald, 41, and Brad Garafola, 45, were also killed.
The man identified as the shooter was former Marine Gavin Long, 29, from Kansas City.