By Alan Barcelona, President, CSLEA FOP Lodge 77
First and foremost, let us pray for the families of the three law enforcement officers who were blatantly hunted down and killed in Baton Rouge yesterday and for the three critically wounded officers who are in the hospital where medical professionals are working to save their lives. Let us remember their names and honor their courage: Baton Rouge Police Officers Montrell Jackson, 32, and Matthew Gerald, 41, and East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Deputy Brad Garafola, 45. These officers leave behind families who are torn with grief and will face years of hardship. Let us be by their sides in thoughts, prayer, and support.
Our thoughts are also with our brothers and sisters at BRPD and EBRSO, who never stopped responding to calls for service, despite their departments' shock and loss. The days ahead will be beyond tough. Their bravery and commitment to the peace and protection of others is a testament to law enforcement officers throughout the country.
On behalf of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association and its more than 7,000 members, I condemn yesterday's calculated, murderous assault on Baton Rouge's finest . This was a thought-out, despicable, heinous attack by a hateful individual who set out to kill people who wore badges over their hearts and who had taken an oath to protect and serve.
The killing and injuring of officers in Baton Rouge follows one man's equally as disturbing, fatal attack on police officers in Dallas. Last week, we formally said goodbye to those officers and paid our respects as each was laid to rest in separate services. We must never forget them or their families who carry on with a deep sense of sadness and loss.
Law enforcement officers represent all that is good, safe, and sound. This very vocal, yet small wave, of anti-law enforcement sentiment must come to an end. It works against peaceful solutions and motivates evil, violent, unstable individuals to target officers in senseless, headline-making, life-taking assaults. I urge Americans to come together as a people, as human beings, and set a new tone for peace and togetherness.