Montrell Jackson Left Behind A Beautiful Legacy

by Celia Darrough

A devastating shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, took the lives of three police officers who had responded to a call and wounded three more Sunday morning. Yet another display of violence in the United States has resulted in the loss of these officers, including Baton Rouge police officer Montrell Jackson, who had a beautiful legacy of serving others.

Although officials only released the ages and service records of the officers who were killed, Jackson's brother Kedrick Pitts confirmed that Jackson was one of the ones who had died. He was 32 years old, and had served on the force for 10 years. According to Louisiana newspaper The Advocate, Jackson was a man who loved his job and did it well.

In fact, the newspaper reported, Jackson had once been injured on the job when he was trying to save a toddler who was in a burning building. He had attempted to enter an apartment complex during a fire to save a child who was inside. The flames were too much, though, and Jackson was treated for smoke inhalation.

But that's only one example of the heart and soul Jackson put into his job, as well as his home life. The new father had just celebrated three years with his wife, NPR reported. "My brother was a hard-working police officer. He gave his life for his community," Pitts told the outlet. "He was everything to me."

A Facebook post reportedly from Jackson's personal page was shared again and again on social media, as he expressed his emotions on July 8 over the police shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge just three days earlier. He wrote:

I'm 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 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 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.

It's an important message in these times, and only speaks to the beauty of his character. Jackson, who, according to his uncle who spoke to WAFB, loved the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, "one of the best guys you'd ever want to know."