Obama to meet slain officers’ families during Louisiana tour
DENHAM SPRINGS, Louisiana — President Barack Obama — while on a trip to survey flood damage in Louisiana’s capital region on Tuesday — is expected to meet with relatives of three law enforcement officers who were shot dead in an ambush in Baton Rouge last month, a source with knowledge of the President’s schedule said.
Two Baton Rouge police officers and a sheriff’s deputy were killed and three other officers were wounded in a shooting in the city in July.
Obama landed in Baton Rouge Tuesday to tour the flood-ravaged area. Thirteen people have died and more than 60,000 homes have been damaged in flooding that started nearly two weeks ago.
But the trip also gives him a chance to touch on a high-profile shooting that came during a month of national turmoil involving gunfire by and against law officers.
On July 17, police say, Missouri resident Gavin Long shot six law officers in Louisiana’s capital. Three — Baton Rouge police Officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald and East Baton Rouge sheriff’s Deputy Brad Garafola — were killed.
A SWAT officer subsequently shot and killed Long, police say.
That ambush came nearly two weeks after a police officer shot and killed Alton Sterling, an African-American resident of Baton Rouge, outside a convenience store in the city on July 5.
Sterling’s shooting — and a July 6 fatal shooting of a black man by police in Minnesota — spurred protests across the country. During one such protest on the night of July 7, a gunman shot and killed five police officers in Dallas, saying he was upset with the other shootings, police said.
Long apparently visited Dallas after the shootings there, posting a YouTube video July 10 in which he spoke of the protests, and a notion that victims of bullying need to resort to brute force.
One of the officers injured in the Baton Rouge attack, East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s Deputy Nick Tullier, was on life support into August. Earlier this month, Tullier’s father, James Tullier, posted to Facebook a touching story about the deputy having helped a stranded motorist and her children the day before he was shot.