Gavin Eugene Long, the suspect in the fatal shooting of three Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers, had an active social media presence, including YouTube videos in which he urged black Americans to “fight back” against the police and called for “bloodshed."
In an ominous video rant from July 10, just three days after the Dallas attack that killed five police officers and wounded seven cops plus two civilians, the now-deceased Long defended the actions of the gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson.
“One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors, from victims fighting their bullies, 100 percent have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed,” he said in the now-removed clip, according to the New York Post. "Zero have been successful over simply protesting. It has never worked and never will. You’ve got to fight back. That’s the only way a bully knows to quit. He doesn’t know words. He can’t understand words. He doesn’t understand protests.”
In another foreboding, since-deleted video from July 8, Long tells viewers not to affiliate him with anyone or anything. “If anything happens with me … Don’t affiliate me with nothing,” he said, the New York Post reports. “I’m not affiliated with the black business school, even though I might promote they business. Any of my friends, any of my associations, those are just associations, I’m not affiliated with it. Yeah, I was also a Nation of Islam member. I’m not affiliated with it. … I was a Christian, I was in Africa. Don’t try to say, ‘Oh, he was African, he was this and that.’ No! They’d try to put you with ISIS or some other terrorist group. No!”
The 29-year-old regularly used the pseudonym Cosmo Setepenra on social media and had a website called Convos With Cosmos, in which he calls himself a “freedom strategist, mental game coach, nutritionist, author and spiritual advisor.”
The website links to his since-deleted Twitter and Instagram accounts. Hours before the shooting, NBC News reports that he tweeted, “Just bc you wake up every morning doesn’t mean that you’re living. And Just bc you shed your physical body doesn’t mean that you’re dead.”
According to NBC News, last year Long filed paperwork in Jackson County, Missouri, declaring Cosmo Ausar Setepenra as his new name and that he was a “sovereign citizen” of the United Washitaw De Dugdahmoundyah Mu’ur nation, a group who claim to be Native American and believe the U.S. government has no jurisdiction over them.
On his website bio, he wrote that he served in the United States Marine Corps for five years, completing two years in Japan and one tour in Iraq. He earned an associate’s degree in general studies at Central Texas College and then attended Clark Atlanta University before having a “spiritual revelation that resulted in him dropping out of college, selling his two cars, giving away all of his material possessions, packing two suitcases and journeying to Africa — his ancestral homeland.”
As previously reported, the suspect ambushed and killed three officers and wounded three others at a shopping center in Baton Rouge on Sunday, July 17. Police officers who responded to the scene killed Long in a gun battle. One of the injured officers is in critical condition and the other two are stable with non life-threatening wounds.
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