A year ago this July Kansas City man Gavin Long drove to Baton Rouge and ambushed a group of police officers outside a convenience store, killing three and wounding three more before the police shot and killed him. A Grandview High graduate and Marine veteran, Long was reacting to the media-inflamed story of a police shooting of a black man in Baton Rouge two weeks earlier.
The suicide note was among the evidence that the authorities made public at the end of their use-of-force inquiry. Included in that evidence was a printout mostly in Arabic from what the Kansas City Star describes as an “Islamic holy book.”
“It references asking forgiveness from Allah and includes a prayer passage wherein it states that repeating the prayer and dying on the same day guarantees the person will go to paradise,” the report said. The credit here goes to the Kansas City Star for mentioning the “Allah” reference.
In its report the New York Times did not. Although Long was not an orthodox believer, to ignore the influence of Allah, as the Times did, is to betray its mission.
The suicide note, written in long-hand, testifies to a better than average education. One gets the impression that Long had been watching too much cable news–CNN comes to mind–for its relentless focus on the shooting of black suspects by white cops.
“The way the current system is set up, it protects all cops whether good or bad, right or wrong, instead of punishing bad cops and holding them accountable for their actions,” Long wrote.
“I must bring the same destruction that bad cops continue to inflict upon my people, upon bad cops as well as good cops,” Long continued. “My people, and the people in general will continue to strike back against all cops until we see that bad cops are no longer protected and allowed to flourish.”
Long badly misjudged the way the media work. Police and others like George Zimmerman who kill a black man, even if justifiably, live on in infamy. Meanwhile the media are quick to bury the stories of those like Long who kill police. A year after his death not one American out of one hundred could identify him or his deed.