BATON ROUGE, La. (BRProud) — The Baton Rouge Police Department stood in solidarity on July 17th, 2020 to remember those killed in a 2016 attack on their fellow officers. The day, “Fallen Heroes Day,” marks the four year anniversary when three law enforcement officers were killed.
Baton Rouge police officer Matthew Gerald, Corporal Montrell Jackson and East Baton Rouge Sheriff Deputy Brad Garafola were killed in the line of duty during an ambush attack on Airline Highway, near Benny’s Carwash.
The day also serves to honor the heroism of those officers and pay tribute to the family members left behind, according to BRPD Sgt. L’Jean McKneely. This year at 10 a.m., a three minute moment of silence was observed in front of the BRPD headquarters.
The Office of the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President released the following statement:
Today we honor the memory of BRPD Officer Montrell Jackson, BRPD Officer Matthew Gerald, and EBRSO Deputy Brad Garafola who bravely served our community and paid the ultimate sacrifice as they were tragically killed four years ago. We also pray for those injured and forever changed by the tragedy.
These public servants represented the best of our community. We will forever remember the words of Officer Montrell Jackson: “Don’t let hate infect your heart.” Please keep them and their families in your prayers as we recognize today as Fallen Heroes Day in their memory.Sharon Weston-Broome, Mayor-President for East Baton Rouge Parish
Soon after the incidents of 2016, memorials were erected in front of BRPD headquarters to honor the fallen and allow the public to pay their respects.
An officer wellness program was initiated through BRPD soon after to help officers cope with the grief and other emotions in the aftermath of the shootings.
The community is asked to wear blue in remembrance on July 17 annually.