Local Lawmakers React To Baton Rouge Police Killings
BATON ROUGE (AP) — On Sunday, July 17, 2016, Gavin Eugene Long, a black man whose last known address was in Kansas City, MO, killed two police officers and a sheriff's deputy in Baton Rouge.
Officials report Long was a former Marine sergeant who served in Iraq and had no known ties to any extremist groups. Police say he was seeking out law enforcement and ambushed them, wounding three other officers before he was killed in the latest in a string of violent incidents involving police.
Sunday's incident was the latest in a series of deadly encounters in the United States involving police and black men that have sparked a national debate over race and policing. It also came less than two weeks after 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man, was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests and has reverberated nationwide. Police-community relations in Baton Rouge have been especially tense since Sterling's death.
Local lawmakers released the following statements Sunday:
State Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe) said the attack on police officers in the state's Capitol City is an inexcusable outrage:
"Just as we mourn collectively when a tragedy strikes any segment of our state, we mourn with Baton Rouge. Our capital has endured much grief in the last two weeks. However, even in the wake of further tragedy we do not mourn as a people with no hope, we mourn knowing that as we pray, as we join together and act in peace and positive resolve that the citizenry of Louisiana will unite and justice and victory will prevail.
"While our community leaders were rightfully outraged after the killing of Alton Sterling, they followed the rule of law in protesting. However, unlike our community leaders the cop-killers who struck today chose instead to play God, to take life and death into their own hands, and no reasonable and sustainable society can tolerate such lawlessness."
Baton Rouge Metro Councilman John Delgado said Sunday’s attack on law enforcement near Police Headquarters is a tragic and vicious assault not only on police but on the rule of law and the safety of everyone:
"There can be no justification for this vicious attack on the men and women of local law enforcement. This cannot be tolerated by anyone in our community. This attack on the badge is an attack on the safety of us all. Police officers put their lives on the line for us every day, and they deserve our respect. There is a special place in hell for these criminals. Families have been destroyed this morning. Our city has been further damaged.
"My thoughts and prayers are with these officers and their families. I call on leaders throughout the community to denounce this crime and work towards peace on our streets. Our city must survive this tragedy. Anyone involved in this barbaric act will caught and they will be punished."
Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement on the shooting of Baton Rouge law enforcement officers:
"We are monitoring the situation in Baton Rouge. Our thoughts and prayers are with the police officers who have been targeted in this brazen attack on law enforcement, as well as the entire Baton Rouge community."