Tragedy struck a hurting nation again Sunday, with at least three Baton Rogue law enforcement officers killed and three wounded in a cowardly ambush by a former United States Marine who has been described by some officials as a black separatist.
That area of the country has been roiled in protests and unrest since white police officers shot and killed Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man. Following a police-involved shooting that involved the death of another black man in Minnesota, five Dallas police officer were shot and killed by a black man hellbent on killing those in law enforcement, specifically white officers.
In the wake of today’s tragedy, LSU head football coach Les Miles released a statement that began with “[m]y heart hurts for Baton Rouge and what’s happened in our community over the past couple of weeks.” Below is Miles’ complete 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.
The school subsequently announced that Miles’ appearance at the ESPN “Car Wash” scheduled for Monday had been cancelled “in light of the tragic event that took place in Baton Rouge today.
Numerous members of the LSU football team responded to the tragedy via social media, but none more powerfully that DeSean Smith, a tight end on the Tigers whose father is a black Louisiana state trooper and whose Twitter profile states “I want to be a State Trooper like my dad 1 day.”
This makes me sick.. If another MF shots a cop…. Not every cop is horrible you dumb MF’s.. You protestors are starting to piss me off..
— DeSean Jamal Smith (@bigdesean) July 17, 2016
The tragedy also touched the Virginia Tech football program, as freshman quarterback Josh Jackson was closely related to one of the victims. And, while it’s heartbreaking for all of the families affected, that victim is particularly heart-wrenching as he became a father earlier this year.
Rest in peace to my cousin Montrell Jackson who was one of the policeman that was killed. #PrayForBatonRouge
— Josh Jackson (@joshiejack17) July 17, 2016
The words of BR Police officer killed today. Please listen to him. pic.twitter.com/j2JqA16RoX
— Christee Atwood (@ChristeeAtwood) July 17, 2016
There have just been way too many sad days of late in this country. It needs to stop. Right now.
Sadly, as my 10-year-old daughter asked me earlier today, “it probably won’t, will it daddy?”