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A black Florida Wildlife Commission officer was shot and killed Sunday after confronting a reckless driver, but so far, no one associated with the “Black Lives Matter” movement seems to have noticed.
According to reports the officer, Julian Keen Jr., and another man witnessed someone driving recklessly in the early morning hours near LaBelle, Fla., and decided to follow the vehicle.
Investigators said that after the vehicle stopped, Keen got out and confronted the alleged driver, Eliceo Hernandez, 20, who investigators believe fatally shot Keen. Hernandez was arrested early Monday morning and remains in the Hendry County Jail on a $500,000 bond, as of this writing.
When deputies arrived, they found Keen, 30, who had been working for the wildlife commission since 2016, dead.
“Our hearts are aching today. He was a remarkable man because of the depths of his commitment to all around him,” Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said, according to the Fort Myers News-Press.
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Officials said that three suspects have been taken into custody.
A Facebook post by the Florida Highway Patrol Command Officers Association commemorated Keen.
“FHP Command Officers are praying and remembering our fallen but NEVER forgotten brother, FWC Officer Julian Keen, who was murdered last night while following his calling to protect and serve others. He was a genuine officer who would literally give his shirt off his back to ANYONE who needed it. Please pray for his family and law enforcement everywhere as we face these troubling times,” the post said, followed by a Biblical passage from “John 15:13 – ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’”
“We are deeply saddened by the death of FWC Officer Keen,” Hendry County Sheriff Steven Whidden told Fox 5 Atlanta. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, members of FWC, friends and community.”
“We will do everything we can to bring about justice to those guilty in his shooting death,” Whidden added. “We all knew Officer Keen, and he wasn’t only our brother, but a role model for the community, he will be missed.”
The News-Press reported that an official with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said an investigation into the incident was ongoing.
The paper also reported that Keen grew up in the LaBelle area and attended high school there, where he played football and ran track. Later, he played football at Webber International University in Babson Park, Fla., after he transferred there from College of the Desert.
As of this writing, there were no known protests, demonstrations or rioting in response to Keen’s death, including marches or demands for justice from people associated with Black Lives Matter.
But several people posted to his Facebook page, which remains online. According to information and photos on the page, Keen apparently used to ‘wrestle’ alligators.
“So sorry to hear of your passing! Your life mattered and I pray you receive justice,” one person wrote.
“YOU MATTERED! I’ll never forget your story Julian! the blue will always back you! Rest In Peace!” wrote another, in reference to other police officers.
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