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At Memorial for Baton Rouge Officers, Lynch Promises to 'Do Everything in Our Power' to Protect Cops

Attorney General Loretta Lynch vowed to “do everything in our power to protect and serve our brave law enforcement officers and their families as well as you protect and serve us” in speaking at Thursday’s memorial service for three slain Baton Rogue police officers.

Lynch paid tribute to Deputy Brad Garafola as “a man possessed of a deep well of kindness and earnest dedication who was always eager to lend a hand to those in need.” Officer Matthew Gerald “was a husband, a father, who lived a life of public service and patriotism.” And Officer Montrell Jackson “was a loving father and a pillar of his community whose life was a portrait of selflessness and devotion as well as a profile in courage.”

Deputy Nicholas Tullier remains in critical condition after the July 17 attack. Gavin Long, 29, a former Marine, drove from Kansas City to ambush the cops.

“In the wake of such a painful tragedy – and in the shadow of such mindless violence – it can feel as if the world is broken beyond repair. It can feel as if we are separated from each other by our own private grief. And it can be tempting to become numb, or to cloak our heartbreak in resentment and anger,” Lynch said at the memorial. “But that is not the story of Baton Rouge. That is not the story of Louisiana. And that is not the story of America.”

“Today, we are standing here together as one community to share our love for these fallen heroes. We are joined by our collective heartache, our common humanity and our shared commitment to the hopeful future that has always been this nation’s guiding star. And in the face of division, we are united not by hate, but by love for those whom we lost; love for those here with us today; and love for the community that joins us still.”

Lynch said the presence of everyone at the memorial, which included Vice President Joe Biden, government officials, families and police, signaled “our country’s desire for healing, for compassion, for safety and for peace.”

“We are a reminder that in difficult times, we find strength by turning to each other, not against each other. We are the embodiment of the world that Deputy Garafola, Officer Gerald and Officer Jackson sought to create through their devotion to public service,” she said. “And now, we are the inheritors of their legacy and the vessel that must carry their vision forward.”

The attorney general added that “our work will not be easy — but as we go forward, I pledge to you that the Department of Justice that I am honored to lead will be there to work alongside you.”