From The Associated Press:
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gavin Long was a man of mixed messages. He peddled self-published books with abstract themes about self-empowerment and spiritual enlightenment, but also posted rambling internet videos calling for violent action in response to what he considered oppression.
In the last message sent from his Twitter account early Sunday, he wrote: “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.”
Nine hours later, he ambushed law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, fatally shooting two police officers and a sheriff’s deputy and injuring three others before being shot dead himself. It was his 29th birthday.
The black military veteran, whose last known address was in Kansas City, Missouri, had spent five years in the Marine Corps, serving one tour in Iraq before being honorably discharged and taking a series of college classes. Then, according to his website, he had a spiritual awakening, sold all his possessions and moved to Africa for a time.
By May 2015, back in the U.S., Long sought to legally change his name to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra in a non-binding document filed in Jackson County, Missouri, though he never followed through with an official request, county spokeswoman Brenda Hill said.
In the document, he said he belonged to the Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah, also known as the Washitaw Nation, a black anti-government group whose members believe they are indigenous to the United States and beyond the federal government’s reach, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Under common law, an adult or emancipated person has the right to change his or her name without legal formality or permission of court to …