Sheriff official who said suspected spa shooter had ‘a bad day’ posted racist shirts

Cherokee County Sheriff's Capt. Jay Baker shared an image of T-shirts that said "Covid 19 IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA."

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New details are emerging on the Georgia sheriff’s official who said the man accused of killing six Asian women and two others in shootings at spas in the Atlanta area had “a bad day.”

Eyebrows initially raised when officers in Georgia slow-walked the possibility of hate motivating multiple shootings on Asian-owned spas at a time when the community has seen an uptick in race-motivated violence. 

But now, the officer who placated the shooter’s emotional state is garnering attention for his murky past with anti-Asian apparel. 

In April 2020, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay 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.”

Read More: Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks on shootings, anti-Asian violence

(Source: Facebook)

Read More: Police: Georgia shooting suspect may have ‘sexual addiction’

The T-shirts echo the claims of former President Donald Trump, who never let an opportunity to blame the pandemic on China pass by, and Trump’s pronunciation of the country’s name. From the White House press room to the campaign trail, the former president referred to COVID-19 as “the China virus.”

During his presidency 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.

Since Baker became a focus online for his comments and T-shirt, this post has become unavailable. 

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.”

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