Sheriff Under Fire For Claiming Atlanta Spa Shooter Had A “Bad Day” + Promoting Racist COVID-19 Shirts Online

Eight people were killed, including six Asian women.

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This article includes descriptions of violence that may disturb some readers.

On March 16, Robert Aaron Long (21) was arrested for the death of eight people—six of whom were of Asian descent—after going on a shooting rampage at three spas in Atlanta. Due to the ethnicity of majority of the victims, the incident is being hailed as a hate crime towards Asians during a time when such crimes are on the rise because of COVID-19.

| CNN

Jay Baker, a Georgia sheriff spokesman, has recently gone under fire for the statements he made during a joint news conference with the Atlanta Police Department regarding the mass shooting.

| Cherokee Sheriff’s Office

When explaining the motive behind the crimes, Baker claimed that Long was experiencing a “really bad day.”

Yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.

— Jay Baker, Georgia Sheriff Spokesman

His statement received heavy criticism on social media, with many calling him out for his dismissive explanation of an act that left eight innocent people dead.

After Baker’s statement spread online, netizens uncovered his past social media posts that promote racism towards Asians. In a March 30 Facebook post, he shared photos of a shirt with the design “COVID-19 imported virus from CHY-NA.”

| @RichPhelps/Twitter

Just a few days later on April 2, he recommended the shirts once again, this time with the caption, “Get yours while they last.”

| @RichPhelps/Twitter

The rise in Asian hate crimes marked with this incident has spurred online and offline protests, with many reminding the police that racism, misogyny, and xenophobia are not the same as “having a bad day.”

| Phil_Lewis_/Twitter

Source: Forbes