Connecticut police departments share grief following Baton Rouge - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Connecticut police departments share grief following Baton Rouge officer deaths

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A photo originally posted by the Connecticut State Police in response to the deaths of five Dallas officers. (State police photo) A photo originally posted by the Connecticut State Police in response to the deaths of five Dallas officers. (State police photo)
(WFSB) -

As investigators uncover more about a shooter who gunned down officers in Baton Rouge, LA over the weekend, Connecticut police departments have been expressing their grief.

Gavin Long, 29, who was killed following the shooting deaths of three officers, was said to be a decorated marine who was honorably discharged in 2010.

Hours after the ambush, police said people came together in Baton Rouge to remember the victims, 45-year-old Brad Garafola, 41-year-old Matthew Gerald and 32-year-old Montrell Jackson.

"My heart is broken and torn, but I believe that God is still a healer in the midst of what we're going through," said Robert Jackson, Montrell Jackson's cousin.

Long posted a video online last week in which he ranted about police violence against African Americans.

"You gotta fight back," Long said in the video. "That's the only way a bully knows to quit."

Investigators said Long rented a car last week and drove from Kansas City, MO to Baton Rouge. He was armed and dressed in black before exchanging gunfire with police at a gas station.

The city has been on edge since the police-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling two weeks ago. Local leaders have been calling for peace as well as an honest conversation about race relations.

In Connecticut, Hartford police said they are staying vigilant while keeping the well-being of their officers in mind.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department said what was once an isolated incident is now a problem.

"It's just a fact of where we are and what we have to deal with, but it's changed," he told Eyewitness News. "These are awful times to be a cop, awful times to be a cop in an urban environment. So it's very difficult, but we're not going to stop doing what we do."

Foley said Hartford is doubling up on cruisers and officers.

"When this happened, I wanted to tell every one hey our officers aren't scared, officers are just fine," Foley said. "I couldn't say that, not without taking their temperature, not without finding out how they're feeling."  

Departments from around the state took to the internet to post their feelings.

"Once again, our law enforcement family has suffered another tragic loss as three officers were murdered in Baton Rouge," posted the town of Groton's police department. "There are no words that can capture the grief or heal the pain. We will not give up, please do not give up on us."

"Our hearts are again heavy with more loss and violence upon our LEO brothers in Baton Rouge," said the Windsor Locks Police Department. "We are still experiencing levels of unprecedented violence against police all across the country. Stay safe, remain vigilant, and thank you all for your support!"

Connecticut State Police also reposted a photo they put up just last week in response to the murders of five Dallas police officers.

"Sadly, we need to re-post this," they wrote.

"The North Haven Police Department extends its condolences and stands in solidarity with the Baton Rouge law enforcement community in wake of the officers who have been killed in the line of duty," posted North Haven officers. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to our brothers and sisters in blue, as well as their families, during this challenging time. As our thoughts are with the Louisiana agencies, we are still morning the tragedy that took place in Dallas, TX. Sgt. Clifford Hill traveled to Dallas to represent our agency at the services for one of the officers killed in the line of duty."

"Eight officers assassinated in 11 days," said Berlin police. "Officers protecting their communities. Officers that had nothing to do with the events that are causing protests. The men and women of Berlin PD are deeply saddened for your families and your communities."

The condolences spread beyond fellow police departments.

"Prayers, especially now to these Baton Rouge officers, but really to each and every law enforcement officer," said the South Windsor Fire Department.
"The men and women of the SWFD stand tall with our brothers / sisters in blue in South Windsor and everywhere! God Bless!"

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