Baton Rouge Shooter Had Embraced Strange Views


A Kansas City, Mo., man suspected of killing three Baton Rouge police officers on Sunday spent much of his final days shadowing peaceful protests but not participating.

In a series of YouTube online videos widely attributed to Gavin Eugene Long, 29, the suspect spewed his peculiar, personal world outlook, attempted to share his views with other African-Americans and tried to give away three books he said he authored while living in Africa.

The videos were labeled “Convos with Cosmo” and may have been shot in Texas and Louisiana since the shooting death of Alton Sterling, 37, a black man who was killed July 5 during a struggle with two Baton Rouge police officers.

In one video, Long, a former Marine who served in Iraq, questions why white patriots like George Washington and the Founding Fathers are celebrated for throwing off their oppressors while blacks are not.

Long, who said he was filming his videos in his hotel room as well as in his car, suggests peaceful protests such as those exercised in Baton Rouge and Dallas were futile, based on emotion and soon forgotten. He suggests that when he sees women protesting he is “embarrassed” because their views are emotional and not logical.

While protesters “know their rights,” Long says, he “stands on his rights,” following in the footsteps of George Washington but also African Americans such as Nat Turner, who led a slave revolt, and Malcolm X, the Black Muslim who separated from the Nation of Islam promoted by Elijah Muhammad.

In his videos, the man identified as Long says he lost 80 pounds at 16 years of age, joined the Marines and rose to the rank of sergeant. He also says he attended Clark University in Atlanta, a historically black college.

In some of the videos, he tries to give away his books — oftentimes unsuccessfully — to black men and women on the street. He said the books are about topics such as “detoxing yourself,” melanin and “laws of the cosmos.”

In one video, published July 12, he suggests “three principles” for African Americans: Use logic, not emotion; make lifestyle changes and stand up for your rights.

“When native Americans were extincted (sic),” he says, “at what point should they have stood up?”

Shimon Prokupecz, a reporter for CNN, said a card was found on Gavin Long suggesting he was a member of the Washita Nation, a sovereign citizen movement group that originated in Richwood, La., near Monroe.

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Source: USA Today | Ken Stickney, Lafayette (La.) Daily Advertiser