One of the officers who was shot and killed on Sunday was Montrell Jackson – a 32-year-old dad with a new baby. His sister Joycelyn Jackson didn’t even know what had happened until she was in church, and her pastor asked the congregation to pray for her family. Another of Joycelyn’s brothers had told the pastor what had happened before she had gotten there.
“I didn’t want to break down in church but it was just something I couldn’t hold,” she told the Washington Post. “He was a wonderful person. A wonderful person.”
While Joycelyn said she understood the anger behind Black Lives Matter, there’s no excuse for what happened to her brother. “God gives nobody the right to kill and take another person’s life,” she said.
She added, rather poignantly, “It’s coming to the point where no lives matter, whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or whatever.”
Perhaps even more poignant than that, when she was asked what she’d say to the shooter or anyone else contemplating using such violence against police, she answered, “If I could say anything to anyone, it is to get their lives right with God. Hell is a horrible, horrible place to be.”
Here’s the Facebook message Montrell left the day after the Dallas shooting and killing of five officers, and just over a week before his death:
A relative of Montrell has set up a GoFundMe page for the fallen officer. So far, they’ve raised about half of their $100,000 goal. All of the proceeds will go to Montrell’s wife and son Mason.
In addition to Montrell Williams, 41-year-old Matthew Gerald – also of the Baton Rouge Police Department – and 45-year-old Brad Garafola of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department were murdered. These three were among the seven who were shot Sunday when officers responded to a 911 call from a black man who said that another black man was pointing a rifle at him.
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