shot six cops, killing three of them, on his 29th birthday.
Investigators trying to figure out why a
former Marine sergeant would eventually murder police in broad daylight will
likely look to the writings and online footprint of Cosmo Setepenra, the name
Long legally changed his name to.
Setepenra wrote books about “esoteric
health and nutritional practices” and “how to develop your
On two separate websites he describes himself
as a “Freedom Strategist, Mental Game Coach, Nutritionist, Author and
And in one video online he claims that victims
of bullying need to resort to brute force: “100% have been successful
through fighting back. Through bloodshed. Zero have been successful just over
simply protesting. It has never worked, and it never will.”
Here’s what we know about Long’s background
and the views and opinions he espoused under the Setepenra pseudonym.
time in Dallas
In a recent video posted on YouTube July 10,
Long, who was African-American, speaks at the camera eloquently about recent
protests and officer-involved shootings, often employing the motifs of blood
and money and revolution.
He cites figures ranging from Nat Turner to
Malcolm X and George Washington.
That video, he says, was recorded from Dallas,
where five police officers were recently killed by a sniper targeting cops.
Long mentions the July 4 holiday as a
celebration of an uprisings against oppressive forces, and without mentioning
Micah Xavier Johnson — the Dallas shooter — by name, he questions why some
violent actions are perceived as criminal while others are celebrated.
A video posted two days earlier is a bit more
cryptic, but makes more sense in the aftermath of his shooting rampage.
“I just wanted to let y’all know, don’t
affiliate me with nothing,” he says. He says he wanted people to know that
his actions were his alone.
He then goes on to list organizations he may
be affiliated with — including the Nation of Islam (which he says he was a
member of), Floyd Mayweather’s The Money Team (he’s wearing their hat) and
terror groups like ISIS.
“I thought my own stuff; I made my own
decisions; I’m the one who gotta listen to the judgment,” Long added.
Rouge gunman posted this video on social media
After he was killed, investigators found a
card on Long’s body suggesting he was a member of the Washitaw Nation,
according to two law enforcement officials.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the
Washitaw Nation “as a sovereign tribe descended from pre-Columbian blacks
who settled in North America.”
Long legally changed his name to Cosmo Ausar
Setepenra in May 2015, claiming that he was “seeking to correct” his
name, because he was part of the indigenous society, United Washitaw De
Dugdahmoundvah Mu’er nation.
What is the Washitaw Nation?
The Washitaw Moorish Nation is a U.S. separatist group
It describes itself as a sovereign tribe descended from
pre-Columbian blacks who settled in North America,” according to the
Southern Poverty Law Center.
Many who claim membership to the Washitaw Nation say it exempts
them from federal and state government jurisdiction, attempting to use laws
that were made for Native Americans for their own ends
Law enforcement says the group sells fake drivers license and
Source: Souther Poverty Law Center
The group is just one of many fringe groups to
which the gunman may have belonged.
Long followed several conspiracy groups
devoted to government surveillance and monitoring. An email address linked to
him showed that he was a member of a support group in an organization called
Freedom from Covert Harassment and Surveillance.
The group’s mission is to help those
“marginalized and abused by … remote brain experimentation, remote
neural monitoring of an entire humans body.”
On that site he’s identified as a
“Buddy” representing other “targets” of government
The FBI is vetting the claim Long made on
YouTube that he was a member of the Nation of Islam. An official said the
belief is that Long identified as being associated with the black separatist
movement in some capacity but there is no indication he was directed by it. The
law enforcement official said the FBI has no indication any black separatist or
other domestic terrorist groups are supporting or sending people to kill cops.
Long joined the Marine corps in 2008 and worked
as a data network specialist, according to the U.S. military. He was deployed
to Iraq and spent time in California and Japan before being discharged at the
rank of sergeant in 2010. He received a handful of awards, including the Marine
Corps Good Conduct Medal.
Two law enforcement sources told CNN that Long
rented a car in Kansas City after the Dallas shootings and drove it to Baton
Rouge. Since one of his YouTube videos was posted from Dallas on July 10th,
it’s likely he made the trip to Baton Rouge from Dallas. He was not alone
during his stay in Baton Rouge, a law enforcement source told CNN. But, it’s
unclear if his associated were actively involved in any plot.
The shooting began Sunday when police received
a call of a “suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an
assault rifle,” a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. When
police arrived, they were ambushed. Long was wielding an AR-15 style
semi-automatic rifle, law enforcement sources told CNN. “There was no
talking, just shooting,” Baton Rouge Police Cpl. L.J. McKneely said. Police
officers who responded to Sunday’s shootings killed Long in a minutes-long
gunbattle. “He wasn’t robbing a bank,” an official told CNN. “He
was armed to shoot it out with police.”
CNN’s Steve Visser, Patricia DiCarlo, Curt Devine, Evan Perez and
Shimon Prokupecz contributed to this report