In online posts, a man using an alias of the Baton Rouge shooter says protests alone don’t work, and people must fight back after the deaths of black men at the hands of police.
Documents show that gunman Gavin Eugene Long sought to change his name last year to Cosmo Setepenra. A website using that name links to online books about nutrition, self-awareness and empowerment. The man describes himself as a “Freedom Strategist, Mental Game Coach, Nutritionist, Author and Spiritual Advisor.”
In a video posted July 10, the name says he’s speaking from Dallas after the fatal attack on police officers there during a march over the deaths of black men at the hands of law enforcement. The man also discusses the protests in Baton Rouge and what he perceived as oppression.
He says: “You’ve got to fight back. That’s the only way a bully knows to quit.” In an earlier video, the man says that if anything ever happens to him, he doesn’t want to be linked to any groups, and mentioned once belonging to Nation of Islam.
Long was dressed in black and carrying extra ammunition when he shot and killed three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers, less than two weeks after a black man was fatally shot by police there in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests that reverberated nationwide.
Three other officers were wounded Sunday, one critically. Police said the gunman was killed at the scene.
The shooting less than a mile from police headquarters added to the tensions across the country between the black community and police. Just days earlier, one of the slain officers had posted an emotional Facebook message about the challenges of police work in the current environment.
President Barack Obama urged Americans to tamp down inflammatory words and actions.