clyde kerr

Deputy Cited Murders Of Unarmed Blacks As Reason For His Suicide

A deputy who committed suicide Monday left a series of haunting social media videos that provided insight into why he chose to end his life.

Deputy Clyde Kerr III, a father and military veteran, shot himself outside the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office. Before his death, the 43-year-old spoke into the camera about police brutality against African Americans, mental health needs in law enforcement, and his struggle with being a police officer and a Black man.

In the footage, Kerr said that he was done working in law enforcement that doesn’t care about officers like him.

“You have no idea how hard it is to put a uniform on in this day and age with everything that’s going on,” he said. “My entire life has been in the service of other people…y’all entrust me to safeguard your little ones, your small ones, the thing that’s most precious to you, and I did that well. I passed security clearance in the military, but that has allowed me to see the inner workings of things.”

Kerr had said that he’d “had enough.”

Lafayette City Marshal Reggie Thomas, the first Black person elected to a citywide position in the city, empathized with Kerr.

“He had to talk to his son about how you have to react with a police officer,” Thomas said. “Nobody should have to have that conversation.”

Kerr’s videos have sparked conversations about mental health within law enforcement. His videos have attracted thousands of views in the days since they were posted.

Kerr mentioned the trauma of working on the night of Lafayette Police Cpl. Michael Middlebrook died and getting through his personal struggles. The tormented man says that he was choosing to take his life as a “protest.” He cited the deaths of unarmed shooting victims who were murdered at the hands of police, including Botham Jean, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayford Pellerin. He criticized the system that does not bring charges against officers who kill unarmed Blacks.

“I understand we have a tough job, but we signed up for this. We need help. Because when you deal with the bottom rung of society, that does not give us an excuse to just do whatever you want, and that’s what we’re doing, and we’re not being held accountable.”

Sheriff Mark Garber released a statement in the wake of Kerr’s death.

“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.”

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