Well, a day later and even finding the words to write this small blog post about Sunday’s events in Baton Rouge is more difficult than it should be.
You all know the story, but I’ll go back through it anyway: at 8:45 a.m., Sunday morning, a man opened fire on police officers in Baton Rouge at a gas station on Airline Highway, injuring six officers and murdering three. The fallen officers are Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola. The shooter, has been identified as a man named Gavin Young, of Kansas City.
It still doesn’t feel like a real thing that happened in the city that I live in. Much less at a site I drive by every day, just a few miles from my house. I type this from a condo in Florida, on a last vacation before I start a new job, and while the distance is physical, now, mentally, there’s nothing. I’m at home, on my couch — in this case I was listening to Talk 107.3 on my phone, trying to process the chaos.
There may be a time for preaching, but now’s not it. At least not for me. And on behalf of all of us here at ATVS, we send our love and our prayers to the families of those men who gave their lives to protect the city on Sunday, to their friends and families. And to the community that needs a lot of healing right now.
For those that would like to act, blood centers are working overtime right now, and giving after a casualty event is one of the best things that you can do. There are multiple GoFundMe Accounts for each of the fallen officers as well. The Advocate and other Baton Rouge media outlets are all over this, and I suggest you check their sites out for more information as it develops.
In the meantime, Les Miles cancelled a planned trip up to Bristol to go through the ESPN “Car Wash” with some other SEC coaches, and issued the following statement:
“My heart hurts for Baton Rouge and what’s happened in our community over the past couple of weeks. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those officers who lost their lives or were injured today in what was a senseless act. I continue to pray for peace, compassion and civility as our city mourns during this extremely sad time for Baton Rouge.”
Multiple LSU athletes weighed in as well, through their individual social media platforms.
On a final note, this Facebook status from Montrell Jackson made the rounds yesterday. It’s something I think everybody could stand to read:
For us, we’ll continue to do what we do, and that’s offer you a bit of a respite from all of this sad news. A toy section to walk through to give us all a few moments to think about something else. In a time like this, that’s not much, but it’s what we do.