A sheriff’s deputy has come under fire for saying that the main suspect in the Atlanta massage parlour shooting was having “a bad day,”
A sheriff’s deputy has come under fire for saying that the main suspect in the Atlanta massage parlour shooting, in which eight people were murdered, was having “a bad day,” even as one of his own social media posts from last year that hinted at racism against Asian people resurfaced.
Captain Jay Baker, a sheriff’s deputy in the state of Georgia, was briefing the media after a 21-year-old was arrested on Wednesday for going on a murderous rampage at three separate spas in the Atlanta area, killing eight people, including six Asian women.
“He was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope,” Captain Baker of the Cherokee County sheriff’s office had said, talking about the man accused of the killings on Wednesday. “Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,”
This comes after Eight people have been killed in shootings that took place at massage parlours in and around the city of Atlanta, in Georgia. A 21-year-old man is suspected of carrying out all three of the shootings and has since been arrested.
The sheriff’s deputy also said that the suspect, Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia, had “understood the gravity” of his horrific actions when he was interviewed by police investigators on Wednesday morning.
However, his remark of the alleged killer having a “bad day” infuriated many people social media platforms, where he was then called out for his bias. Some labelled this use of language as an attempt to “humanise” the accused murderer. The shooting incident comes during a rise in the number hate crimes targeted towards those of Asian decent in the United States.
One of Jay Baker’s old social media posts also resurfaced after the incident that showed him promoting anti-Asian material online.
In a Facebook post from the 30th of March 2020, Mr Baker promoted sales of an anti-Asian T-shirt, which echoed the rhetoric of the then incumbent president Donald Trump, referring to the coronavirus as an “imported virus from Chy-na.”
“Place your order while they last,” Mr Baker wrote on the post earlier.
“Instead of even considering the killing of 6 Asian women a hate crime, CaptainJay Baker said it was a ‘really bad day’ for the suspect,” wrote writer Viet Thanh Nguyen on Twitter. “The shirt he likes says “COVID-19 Imported Virus from Chy-Na.” I wonder if these are related…”
This comes after Donald Trump has urged his Republican supporters to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. During a TV interview with the right-wing Fox News, the former US president said that the vaccine is “safe” and “something that works”.
“Cop says it’s not a hate crime, it’s him just having a bad day,” actress Arden Cho wrote on Twitter. “Oh ok.. NO. It’s because you’re a racist also Jay Baker.”
“This apologist for a mass murdering anti-Asian racist, turns out to be an anti-Asian racist himself,” wrote sports commentator Kieth Olbermann.
“CaptainJay Baker must be fired. Whichever of his bosses let him address the media today must be fired. Not investigated, not on leave – fired and barred from public service.”
“I am calling on Capt. Jay Baker to resign. He tried to humanise the Atlanta killer & suggested the shooting was not a hate crime,” wrote Po Murray of Newton Action Alliance.
“Last year, he promoted racist shirts blaming China for the pandemic-saying that the coronavirus was imported from ‘CHY-NA.'”