Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office’s Captain Jay Baker is being criticized for a phrase he used to describe the Atlanta shooter and his motive for killing 8 people, believing he was too sympathetic towards the suspect.
He described suspect Robert Long, who is accused of killing 8 people in a shooting spree at three Atlanta spas, as having had a “bad day.” In a press conference, Baker said, “He was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.”
The comment blew up on Twitter, and the phrase “FOR HIM” began trending.
Angela Chen, morning anchor at KESQ, said, “Imagine losing your loved one to a senseless shooting, and the police captain says this about the shooter.”
According to the Hill, Long has denied that he targeted Asian people specifically. Police have concluded that Long had a “sexual addiction” and sought to “eliminate” places of “temptation.”
Rodney Bryant, acting chief of the Atlanta Police Department, added that it is too early to determine whether the incident will be classified as a hate crime. Regardless of the underlying motive, whether racial or sexual, the incident has led to a wave of concern in the media surrounding the treatment towards Asian Americans following the coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China.
NBC News has reported 3,800 “incidents of bias” against Asian Americans over the past 12 months since the pandemic began.
Many are pointing the blame at former president Donald Trump. California Rep. Ted Lieu said, “One year ago, we had a former President and White House officials inflaming hate against Asian Americans. Some elected officials continue to use ethnic identifiers in describing the virus, which adds fuel to the hate. If you are one of those officials, please stop.”
Law enforcement officials in Georgia gathered information that Long was headed to Florida to carry out further shootings.
Baker said, “He made a comment to that effect, that he was headed to Florida, and that he was going to do similar acts in that state. It was some type of porn industry in that state, that he wanted to go do some similar act in that location.”