The Latest: Mourners take slain officer's words to heart

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2016 2:36 PM
The Latest: Mourners take slain officer's words to heart

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on the Baton Rouge shooting on July 17 that left three law enforcement officers dead (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

Family and friends are pledging to follow the words of a Baton Rouge police officer who was killed by a gunman who targeted law enforcement: "Don't let hate infect your heart."

Montrell Jackson wrote those words only days before his death, in a Facebook post that described the difficulties of being both a black man and a police officer.

Jackson's brother, Kedrick Pitts, invoked those words again Monday at Jackson's funeral after sharing stories and telling his brother directly: "Now I can brag about you being an angel."

Gov. John Bel Edwards cited Jackson's Facebook post as he described the officer as a man who loved his community and cared deeply about protecting it.

Jackson was one of three law enforcement officers shot and killed a week ago.

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9:50 a.m.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from around Louisiana and around the country are among the many mourners paying their respects to a slain Baton Rouge police officer at the visitation ahead of his funeral.

They filed quietly Monday morning to the black coffin holding the body of Montrell Jackson. Some solemnly saluted their fellow officer while others made the sign of the cross.

Michael Fendrick, a sheriff's deputy from Dakota County, Minnesota, was among those officers who traveled to the service as part of an honor guard team. He says it's important to show Jackson's family "their loved one was just as important to us as to them."

Jackson, a 32-year-old corporal, is the third and final Baton Rouge law enforcement officer killed in an ambush last week to be buried.

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9:20 a.m.

The body of the gunman who killed three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge has been released to his family.

Shane Evans of the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner's office says Gavin Long's body was claimed by his mother, Corine Woodley, and released Monday morning to a Covington funeral home.

Evans said an Arkansas funeral home is handling arrangements for Long's family, but the body had to be released to a funeral service licensed in Louisiana.

The coroner's office performed an autopsy on Long's body last week.

A SWAT officer gunned down Long, a 29-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, after he killed three officers and wounded three others during a shootout outside a convenience store on July 17.

The last funeral for the three officers killed in the ambush is being held Monday.

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The last of the three Louisiana law enforcement officers killed in an ambush near a busy highway in Baton Rouge will soon be buried.

Funeral services are planned Monday for police officer Montrell Jackson, a 32-year-old slain by a gunman who authorities said targeted law enforcement.

Just three days before his death, Jackson — married with a four-month-old son — wrote a Facebook post detailing how difficult it was for him to be both a black man and a police officer.

Baton Rouge residents have been mourning at a series of memorial and funeral services since Jackson, police officer Matthew Gerald and East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy Brad Garafola, were killed in a July 17 shootout with Gavin Long. Gerald was buried Friday and Garafola on Saturday.