Blue Life Lost: the Dramatic rise of the police shot in the line of duty in 2016

Fallen heroes: Meet some of the law enforcement officers killed by gunfire in 2016

Of those men and women in blue, who died in 2016, 62 were killed by gunfire – a sharp increase from the 39-year – for-the – about a dozen of them were shot dead by armed men who set out to kill the police.

In Baton Rouge, the small 9-month-old Mason, Jackson sees his father’s face every day, all the time – in pictures. His mother makes sure of that, ensures that he feels to his father.

His mother tells him what a selfless, caring man and his dad, Montrell Jackson, was, and how much he wanted a child – she tried for almost two years. She tells Mason how ecstatic Montrell was when he came into the world in March.

“That’s what hurts the most,” said Trenisha Jackson, “that he is not here for his son. He was so excited about being a father. He felt that his responsibility was to ensure that he is raised a wonderful young man. [Montrell’s] father was not in his life. He wanted for his son.”

Montrell Jackson, 32, was shot fatally in an ambush in July – when Mason was 4 months old – by a man targeting police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Baton Rouge Police Corporal Montrell Jackson, who was shot and killed by Gavin Long, together with two other officers on July 17.

(Officer Down Memorial Page)

That shooter killed a total of three officers – only a fraction of the nearly 140 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty this year, an increase of 130 in 2015, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a non-profit group was founded and is run by active and retired law enforcement officers.

The most recent pictures of police took place on Friday.

In Mt. Vernon, Washington, Mike “Mick” McLaurghry, a 30-year veteran, was shot in the back of the head, while answering a call. Officials said that he was “hanging” in critical condition after surgery.

Later on the same day, Sgt. Rob Hatchell, of Dallas, Oregon, was shot in the leg during an attempted arrest of a drunken man.

Of those men and women in blue, who died in 2016, 62 were killed by gunfire – a sharp increase from the 39-year – for-the – about a dozen of them were shot dead by armed men who set out to kill the police.

“What we’re seeing now, this year, is a huge increase in the gunfire murders of the police,” Lt. Randy Sutton, a retired police officer and author, which is a Blue Life, told “The methodology, where they are targeted attacks or ambushes, or where people are lured into the attacks, it is also. We still have not seen that since the late ’60 or ’70, when there was a huge amount of anti-police terrorism.”

Sutton, like many others in the enforcement of the law, say that the tension between police and minorities, such as Black Lives Matter, which organized to focus attention on the profiling and what they claim as the wrongful use of violence has led some to see those in uniform as the enemy.

“It warrants a call to the terror, a call to violence,” said Sutton. “It adds an element of danger for the enforcement of the law.”

He added: “of course, not everyone in the protests is of the opinion that. But when there is a mob in the place and passion builds, people do things that they normally would not do independently. And it can inspire lone wolf attacks. There are weak-minded people, some mentally disturbed, that absorb this call to action and act.”

The methodology, where they are targeted attacks or ambushes, or where people are lured into the attacks … we haven’t seen that since the late ’60 or ’70, when there was a huge amount of anti-police terrorism.

– Randy Sutton, a retired police lieutenant, who stands for Blue Life

The deadliest attacks occurred in July in Dallas and Baton Rouge in the midst of protests about black men who have died in encounters with the police.

A black gangster in Dallas opened fire on officers at a Black Life in protest, killing five officers and injuring four others.

Tempers in Baton Rouge, where thousands of people were angry about the death of a 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man killed by white Baton Rouge officers after a confrontation in a supermarket.

Those in law enforcement say that they know that they sign up for a potentially dangerous job, when entering the profession.

“There are risks to every officer, you know,” said Sutton. “That includes everything from going up against an armed suspect is planning to resist and going to do everything to escape, including shooting to try and kill you, to being struck by a car during a traffic stop.”

He continued, “But what is particularly frightening and disturbing at this point, the murders, and entrapments, where the police are lured into situations [in order] to kill them.”

Before the death of her husband, Ternisha Jackson just let the day-to-day risks of police work remain on the margins of her thoughts.

“Montrell loved his job,” his widow said. “We bring the risks of our spirit.”

The growing protests outside of the police departments in the entire country, but it worried her.

“That was the first time that I was afraid, I was afraid for him, after all,” she said. “I went out of my mind. I’ve never feared for his life, to the protests.”

She understands the anger many people feel towards the police. They also know that it would be justified. But the answer, she says, is not violence.

“I get pulled over, and it is not for nothing,” she said. “A broken tail light, it is for your safety … Police die protecting you. They chose to protect and serve, and they deserve respect.”

When someone is faced with a police that is acting unprofessional, Jackson said: “They should call them out, a declaration.”

In Texas, Cpl. with Marcie St. John knew that a large but peaceful protest was underway in Dallas, in response to the fatal police shootings that week in Baton Rouge and the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota.

She was finished her shift at about 8:30 and was on my way home – looking forward to the start of the holiday the next day — and when she received a phone call from a colleague in the enforcement of the law.

“My friend called me and said, ‘there is Something going on in the center,” something big,” St. John called up.

Within a few minutes she got a warning from her department, with the question that everyone is ready to report to duty. At home, if she is in her tactical gear, she got a phone call from a friend who told her that her best friend, Michael Smith, her ex-partner, was taken during the service in protest.

“He was a sound cop, a strong performance,” said st. John, who brother, who was also a policeman, died in the line of duty when they were both rookies. “I never thought it would happen to Mike.”

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Sgt. Michael Smith was one of five Dallas police officers Micah Johnson killed on 7 July.

(Dallas Police Department)

The killer was the 25-year-old Micah Johnson, an Army veteran who told authorities he was angry over a fatal police units and wanted to cut off of police officers, “especially white officers,” the officials said.

Johnson, who was killed by a robot-bomb sent by Dallas police, had amassed a personal arsenal of his suburban house, including the bomb-making materials, bulletproof vests, guns, ammunition, and a diary of the battle tactics.

The killings marked the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In all, 12 officers were shot.

“Everything that’s going on in the law enforcement, officers being ambushed,” said John, “in my 25-year career, I’ve never seen this. All of our employees – their life and their death, have in the matter.”

She is the help of Smith’s widow, Heidi, and their two young daughters their lives back together.

The youngest daughter, who was 9 at the time of Smith’s killing, has thought back to her last conversation with her father, before he went to work.

Smith asked his daughter for a kiss, but she said that she was busy with the play of a game. He pressed again, saying: “This is maybe the last time,” St. John ” he said to her.

Ten days before his own death, Montrell Jackson felt deeply saddened about the controversial protests and Dallas ambush – both as a police officer and a black man.

He said as much in a message he posted on his Facebook page.

“I’m tired, physically and emotionally,” he wrote, according to the screen shots of his post, which was torn down after his death. “Disappointed in some family, friends, and officers for some of the reckless comments, but hey, what is in your heart, in your heart. I still love you all because hate takes too much energy, but I certainly will not look at you the same. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me or my wife – it was needed and appreciated. I swear to God, I love this city, but I wonder if this city loves me.”

Jackson saw himself as a bridge between the police and the black residents and said he understood the difficulty of being in each group are shoes.

“I have experienced so much in my short life, and the past 3 days have tested me to the core,” he wrote. “In uniform, I get nasty with hateful eyes and uniform, some people find me a threat.”

He appealed to protesters.

“Please don’t let hate infect your heart,” Jackson wrote. “This city MUST and WILL be better. I am working in these streets, so all the protesters, officials, friends, family, or whomever, if you see me and need a hug to say a prayer, I have you.”

In Missouri, Gavin Eugene Long, black separatists, never saw, or cared about, Jackson’s plea. He traveled to Baton Rouge to hunt for the police.

And that is where he was at the end of the life of the little Mason’s father.

Elizabeth Llorente is a Senior Reporter for and can be reached at Follow her on


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