BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - They were six words towards the end of a Facebook post, a post made just weeks before Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Montrell Jackson was ambushed and killed in 2016.
Now, his wife is spreading her late husband’s words: “Don’t let hate infect your heart.”
“I feel as if I’m making Montrell proud. I’m honoring him and I’m keeping his memory alive,” said Cpl. Jackson’s wife, Trenisha Jackson.
Jackson had been with BRPD for ten years when he was killed in the line of duty. He left behind his wife, Trenisha, and their 4-month-old baby boy, Mason. Amid the protests that had truly divided Baton Rouge, Jackson took to his Facebook page and poured out his heart. Six words from that post stuck with much of Baton Rouge: “Don’t let hate infect your heart.”
“I have to use the words in my daily lifestyle because it’s hard not having him here and missing him,” said Trenisha.
In 2016, Jackson’s best friend had a shirt made with the words “Don’t let hate infect your heart.” Trenisha fell in love with it and from that one shirt grew the idea to trademark her husband’s words and print t-shirts. “Since he’s no longer here, I plan on spreading his message as his wife and eventually Mason will grow up and spread the message as well,” said Trenisha.
The shirts range from $15 to $22 and all the proceeds go to a foundation she started in honor of her late husband. "The name of the foundation is called the Montrell L.Y.L.E. Jackson Foundation and the L.Y.L.E. stands for Love Yourself, Love Equally," said Trenisha.
With the help of Jackson’s squad and her friends and family, they started spreading the phrase in 2016. Plus, they’re doing what Jackson would have done had he been here, something even mentioned at his funeral. “P.S. God, Montrell has a lot of shoes, so please make a lot of room for them,” said Jackson’s brother, Kedrick Pitts.
“He loved tennis shoes. He collected all kinds of shoes, so that’s just my way of keeping his memory alive, by making sure that kids have decent tennis shoes that guardians and parents can’t afford to give to them,” said Trenisha.
Her goal is to sell shirts all across the country with her husband’s message resonating nationwide. “I do see the divide and really do wish that we would all operate in love instead of hate. A lot of times, I get upset. Different things happen to me where I’m not treated right, but I don’t operate in hate and that’s what’s going on, so many people operating in hate instead of love,” said Trenisha.
With each sold shirt, this wife is keeping a promise to her superman flying high, making sure hate doesn’t infect your heart.
Trenisha will also be giving away three $500 scholarships to graduating seniors from her husband’s foundation. Entrants must write an essay about how to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org before January 1, 2019.
To buy shirts or donate to the MLJ Foundation, head to www.mljfoundation.org