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Please don't let hate infect your heart, murdered officer wrote

Published 18/07/2016

Montrell Jackson with his son Mason at a Father's Day event for police officers in Baton Rouge earlier this year (Trenisha Jackson/AP)
Montrell Jackson with his son Mason at a Father's Day event for police officers in Baton Rouge earlier this year (Trenisha Jackson/AP)

Montrell Jackson posted an emotional Facebook message saying he was "physically and emotionally" tired and expressing how difficult it was to be both a police officer and a black man, days before he was gunned down in the Baton Rouge attack.

"I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me," the 32-year-old policeman, who leaves his wife Trenisha and four-month-old son Mason, wrote.

He said while in uniform he gets nasty looks and out of uniform some consider him a threat.

"I've experienced so much in my short life and these last 3 days have tested me to the core," the posting read.

The message was posted on July 8, just three days after Alton Sterling was shot dead by police in Baton Rouge.

That shooting was the beginning of an extremely tense week in the country's fraught history of race relations. Another black man was killed by police the next day in Minnesota, with his girlfriend live-streaming the aftermath on Facebook.

Then a black gunman opened fire during a protest against the police shootings in Dallas, Texas, killing five police officers.

Mr Jackson does not specifically refer to those events but the posting appears to be a reaction to them.

Erika Green said she was friends with the family of Mr Jackson, one of three Baton Rouge officers who were killed on Sunday morning. She said she saw the message on his Facebook page.

In the message, Mr Jackson says he is physically and emotionally tired.

"These are trying times. Please don't let hate infect your heart," he wrote.

A screenshot of the image has been widely circulating on the internet but is no longer on Mr Jackson's Facebook page.

Mr Jackson's father-in-law Lonnie Jordan described him as a "gentle giant".

Speaking on the front lawn of Mr Jackson's house in the rural Livingston Parish area of Baton Rouge, Mr Jordan said he heard about his death while at church on Sunday morning.

He said Mr Jackson was tall, stout and formidable looking, but with a peaceful disposition, "always about peace".

He said his son-in-law had been working long hours since the death of Mr Sterling and the resulting protests, but if the work was a strain, Mr Jackson did not let it show.

Kedrick Pitts, 24, a lorry driver who is Mr Jackson's younger half-brother, said the officer was dedicated to "God, family and the police force" and often worked seven days a week.

Mr Pitts said his brother "went above and beyond" and that he was "a protector". He said he had been on the force for 10 years and had risen to the rank of corporal.

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