Those of you out there with a few years behind you may well remember the 1992 Los Angeles riots, six days of mayhem that ultimately resulted in 55 deaths and close to a billion dollars in property damage.
One has to wonder if the U.S. is on the cusp of another such incident, with the relationship between law enforcement and citizens becoming irreparable. Yesterday was another gut shot to hopes of moving forward, 29-year-old Gavin Long killing three police officers in Baton Rouge.
Channel 5 with a rundown of what we know thus far:
Long turned 29 years old on the day of the shooting. He was killed in a shootout with police.
The Associated Press identifies Long as an African American male and former Marine sergeant, who served in Iraq and had no known ties to any extremist groups.
After his service in the Marines, he reportedly attended the University of Alabama in the spring of 2012 for just one semester…
Though police officials said that Long was the only person who fired shots at police during Sunday’s incident, they were not ready to say he acted alone. Police have detained two other unidentified suspects in nearby Addis, Louisiana.
Reports earlier on Sunday indicated that shots had been fired at the scene before police arrived, indicating that officers may have been lured into some sort of trap.
Long was also very active on social media, and actually posted a rather ominous message on Twitter hours before the fatal shooting, where he was killed after exchanging gunfire with law enforcement.
This from the Daily Beast:
“Just bc you wake up every morning doesn’t mean that you’re living,” he apparently wrote under what seems to be a pseudonym, Cosmo Setepenra. “And just bc you shed your physical body doesn’t mean that you’re dead.”
Cosmo Setenpenra – interesting choice. More on that online persona:
The fictitious name, linked to an e-mail address associated with Long, leads to the online trail of a very strange mind. Setepenra is a man who boasted about his triumph over obesity and service in the U.S. military while claiming the powers of a master adviser and guru; a man who claim that he was being stalked by the U.S. government; a man who pushed for “Africans” to fight back against their oppressors; a man who claimed to be both a member of the Nation of Islam and unaffiliated with any group; a man who shouted on Twitter, “YES TO POLYGAMY!”
Long published three books on Amazon.com under his apparent pseudonym. The online biodescribed him as a “nutritionist, life coach, dietitian, personal trainer, author and spiritual advisor”…
Military service records for Gavin Long obtained by The Daily Beast show Long also achieved the rank of E-5. Records show Long served in Japan and did a tour of duty in Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009. Like Setepenra, Long was stationed in San Diego, at Camp Pendleton, where he completed infantry training. In other words, he knew how to shoot.
Appearing to pre-empt public questions about his motivations, Long told viewers in one video clip that “if anything happens to me”, he should not be viewed as affiliated with organized groups despite past membership of the Nation of Islam and others.
“I’m affiliated with the spirit of justice,” he said. “Nothing else.”
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