Montrell Jackson's Sister's Words Are Chilling
On Sunday morning, Montrell Jackson, a police officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and two other cops were fatally shot while on duty. The shooting came just over a week after five police officers were killed by a gunman in Dallas, Texas. Hours after her brother was shot in what is being referred to as an "ambush," Jackson's sister Joycelyn Jackson's response to the Baton Rouge shooting rang all too true.
According to The Washington Post, Jackson told reporters Sunday:
It’s coming to the point where no lives matter — whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or whatever.
Considering how many unjust killings there have been over the last two weeks, Jackson's words seem to be correct. She added, "God gives nobody the right to kill and take another person’s life."
Jackson's death comes just two weeks after Alton Sterling died at the hands of police, also in Baton Rouge. Reuters reported that authorities are still investigating whether the shooting Sunday was some sort of response to Sterling's death. Philando Castile was shot 24 hours after Alton Sterling, in St. Paul Minnesota.
NBC News interviewed Montrell Jackson's neighbor, who told reporters that "[Jackson] was a police officer, but he was also a proud black man." Jackson himself discussed his experience as an African-American police officer in a Facebook post just days before his death. On July 8, Jackson posted on Facebook:
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.
It's no wonder that Joycelyn Jackson feels like "no lives matter." Her brother was a target of violence in multiple ways.
However, Jackson seemed to value all of Baton Rouge, and he posted on Facebook soon before his death: "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 seems like the best way to honor Montrell Jackson would be to work to end violence against black citizens and police officers alike.