Montrell Jackson was one of the officers who was killed during the shooting in Baton Rouge that left three officers dead. His death very much resonated with the nation because of his thoughts on the racial tensions in America.
During the shooting that occurred on July 17, police officials received a call about two Black men who entered a changing room in a Walmart, just a few miles away. Police considered the people in the Walmart may be connected to the shooting; however, they had no idea one of the men in the store was the cousin of Montrell Jackson.
On the day of the shooting, Damarcus Alexander, Jackson’s cousin, and a friend went into a Walmart store in order to buy a shirt for church. Upon leaving the store and driving a few miles down the road, Alexander and his friend were pulled over by an officer.
“Hey, you were just in the Walmart changing, right?” an officer asked them, according to Alexander. “You know what just happened in Baton Rouge? We already got the guy who did it, but we think that he probably didn’t work alone so we’re looking into you two.”
Although Alexander had a receipt from a gas station that proved that he could not have been involved in the shooting, officers still arrested him and his friend, locking them in the back of a police car.
Hours later, the two were then taken to holding cells in a police station in Baton Rouge. After they were put behind bars, Alexander realized he needed to take his diabetes medication. Instead of giving Alexander medicine, police called EMTs, who confirmed that he did in fact need medication.
“For hours they’re bringing me cookies and peanuts and crackers and juice,” Alexander said. “That’s the exact opposite of what I [needed].”
Eventually, Alexander started to slip into a comatose state and was taken to Baton Rouge General Hospital. Police eventually received footage from the gas station that proved Alexander and his friend were not involved.
The police then released his friend and instructed him to get Alexander from the hospital.
“I just keep asking myself, what if I had never made my best friend stop along our route so I could get a coffee? What if I had thrown the receipt away because I was simply buying snacks and a coffee?” Alexander wrote on Facebook. “I'm an upstanding citizen. I mentor and tutor young Black men. I am college-educated and have a good job. I've been an honor student my whole life. I give to the church. I have never been arrested. I don't even have any unpaid parking tickets. But none of that mattered when they cursed us out and called me a d**k and my friend a b***h.”
(Photo from left: Damarcus Alexander via Facebook, Baton Rouge Police Dept. via AP)