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Georgia Sheriff Spokesperson Posted Racist COVID Shirts on Facebook
Photo illustration by The Daily Beast / Leaflet A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office in Cherokee County, Georgia came under fire Wednesday afternoon for pinning down Tuesday’s fatal rampage that left eight dead – including six Asian women – on a “very bad” 21 year old white man died day. “Yesterday was a really bad day for him, and that’s exactly what he did,” Jay Baker said during the joint press conference with the Atlanta Police Department about 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long on online racist content, including pointing a finger China because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – the same vitriol proponents say this has led to a terrible spike in violence against Asian Americans. On a Facebook page that starts with Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, multiple photos show that the law enforcement officer was promoting T-shirts with the tagline “COVID-19 imported viruses from CHY-NA”. “Place your order while it’s still valid,” Baker wrote with a smiley face on a March 30 photo showing the racist t-shirts. “Love my shirt,” wrote Baker in another post in April 2020. ‘”The shirts appear to have been printed by Deadline Appeal, owned by a former Cherokee County’s deputy sheriff, that sold for $ 22. The fully customizable gear shop also appears to be printing shirts for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, a “ceremonial unit, all volunteers who represent not only the sheriff’s office but the county as well, when they are participate in a wide variety of events. ”According to an Instagram post on March 10th. The photos on Baker’s account were first discovered by a Twitter user. Hey Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee Country Sheriff’s Office … that you? pic.twitter.com/1pTlwSlYZQ – Rich Phelps (@RichPhelps) March 17, 2021 Several photos on the Facebook page show Baker in his uniform and participating in the functions of the sheriff’s department, including one with a clearly visible name tag. Baker did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his personal cell phone and at the Cherokee County sheriff’s office. When Sheriff Frank Reynolds, who appears to be friends with Baker on Facebook, was contacted by The Daily Beast, he said he was unfamiliar with the racist photos. “I am not aware of that. I need to contact him, but thank you for bringing this to my attention, ”Reynolds said. Reynolds’ official Sheriff’s Department page lists a 2005-2008 stay in the Department of State as part of his previous experience, fully described in abbreviations: WPPS HTP, IC BWUSA. This appears to stand for Worldwide Personal Protective Services, a contract the federal government awarded to independent contractor Blackwater USA. His campaign side alludes to work in Iraq without naming his employer. Blackwater became notorious after his private guards shot dead 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007. There is currently no evidence linking Reynolds to this incident and he did not immediately respond to a request for further comments. The massacre in three Asian massage parlors comes amid a shocking wave of anti-Asian violence in the United States. According to authorities, Long, the suspect of the gruesome crimes, insisted that he not deliberately target people of Asian origin. Even so, police – including Baker – said the investigation was still ongoing and the killings could still be classified as a hate crime. Facebook The fact that Long allegedly targeted Asian massage parlors and killed half a dozen Asian women has caused an uproar online and among community leaders. Nearly 3,800 cases of anti-Asian hatred were reported between March 2020 and last month, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition documenting discrimination during the pandemic. During a press conference on Wednesday, Baker appeared to downplay Long’s alleged actions, telling reporters the 21-year-old attributed the crimes to his “sexual addiction problems.” Baker said Long was targeting the spas to “dispel that temptation”. Baker’s adoptive brother, Anthony Baker, is a Georgia Supreme Court Justice – and according to a profile released in January, he was born in Vietnam to a woman who married an American soldier there. – with reports by Maxwell Tani and Blake Montgomery. Read more at The Daily Beast. Do you have a tip? Submit it to The Daily Beast here. Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.