A 43-year-old deputy with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana died by suicide earlier this week after posting videos on social media in which he spoke out about a system that does “not give a damn about people” like him.
“My entire life has been in service of other people, and they really don’t give a damn about us,” Kerr added. He went on to say he had seen the inner workings of what he called a “demonic system” that has no form of justice, and then referenced the deaths of Botham Jean, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as Trayford Pellerin in Louisiana—all at the hands of police.
“This is the furthest thing from right. I understand we have a tough job, but we signed up for this,” said Kerr. “Because we deal with the bottom rung of society does not give us an excuse to do whatever we want, and that’s what we’re doing and we’re not being held accountable.”
Kerr was a father and a military veteran.
From the Advocate:
Kerr was a soldier who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, a lawman, and a hero to the students at St. Genevieve School, where he was a school resource officer. Kerr joined the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office in June 2015 and had served as a patrol deputy and SWAT team member before joining the school resource officer program, according to a statement from the agency.
“My heart goes out to Deputy Kerr, his immediate family and to all of the brothers and sisters he has at the sheriff’s office. We will do everything in our power to support our employees as we all grieve,” Sheriff Mark Garber said in the statement.
Indicating in his video that his action was a “protest against police brutality,” Kerr also called for civilian oversight of police officers, peer evaluations, more transparency of police operations to build public trust, and mental health and wellness support.