The Georgia sheriff official who is being scrutinized for his kit gloves handling of the suspect in the mass shooting in Atlanta, including inexplicably stating that the crime was not motivated by the race of the victims, six of which were Asians, has social media posts praising merchandise with highly offensive and anti-Asian messaging.
In a move highly criticized nationally for its lack of professionalism, common sense and consistency when compared to the treatment received by Black suspects from police, Cherokee County (Georgia) Sheriff Captain Jay Baker declared that Robert Aaron Long, the man accused of killing six Asian women and two others in shootings at spas in the Atlanta area had “a bad day.”
Baker’s eyebrow-raising comments were coupled with his assertion that the multiple shootings on Asian-owned spas were not racially motivated, comments that were perplexing to many since they came at a time when Asian communities nationally have seen an enormous uptick in race-motivated violence.
Now, however, Baker, who placated Long’s emotional state, has the national spotlight shining upon his own anti-Asian leaning.
In April 2020, Baker shared an image of t-shirts based off the Corona beer label that said “Covid 19 IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA” on Facebook
“Love my shirt,” He wrote on the post. “Get yours while they last.”
The t-shirt’s assertion is one familiar to many primarily because it echo the claims of former Reality TV host and twice-impeached U.S. president, Donald Trump, who never let an opportunity to blame the pandemic on China pass by. The t-shirt also attempted to capture Trump’s unique pronunciation of China (CHY-NA), a pronounciation that some have described as “borderline retarded.” From the White House press room to the campaign trail, the failed real estate “mogul” referred to COVID-19 as “the China virus.”
During Trump’s tenture at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and into the Biden presidency, advocates said the United States has seen thousands of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders reported since the beginning of the pandemic in the country.
Though there is no definitve proof as of yet, many are speculating that Long’s suspected actions of killing eight women, six of whom were Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, is part of this recent wave of Anti-Asian violence.
Baker’s role as director of communications and community relations at the sheriff’s office is being called into question as many advocates are highlighting his swift claim that it was too early to determine if the suspect was motivated by race, yet mentioned that the suspect told officials he had sex addiction issues and his intent was to “take out that temptation.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Baker said at a press conference on the shootings, “he was pretty much fed up, at the end of his rope and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.”