Gavin Long valgte å feire sin 29-årsdag med å skyte politifolk. Ifølge ham selv var vold den eneste måten å få resultater på.
Long var en US Marine fra 2005 og til 2010. Han ble sersjant i 2008. Han var en tur i Irak, men som datamann, ikke stridende. Han fremstår som umoden og svermerisk på sosiale medier. Under navnet Cosmo postet han videoer med kommentarer som denne:
In one YouTube video, titled, “Protesting, Oppression and How to Deal with Bullies,” the man discusses the killings of African-American men at the hands of police officers, including the July 5 death here of Alton B. Sterling, and he advocates a bloody response instead of the protests that the deaths sparked.“One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors,” he said, “have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed. Zero have been successful just over simply protesting. It doesn’t — it has never worked and it never will. You got to fight back. That’s the only way that a bully knows to quit.”
“You’ve got to stand on your rights, just like George Washington did, just like the other white rebels they celebrate and salute did,” he added. “That’s what Nat Turner did. That’s what Malcolm did. You got to stand, man. You got to sacrifice.”