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Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff's Office. (Photo: CSO)

Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff's Office sparked widespread outrage Wednesday after suggesting that the man who allegedly killed eight people including six Asian women at Atlanta-area massage spas acted because he was having "a really bad day." (Photo: Cherokee Sheriff's Office)

Outrage After Georgia Cop Suggests Atlanta Mass Shooter Acted Because He Had a 'Bad Day'

"If you're Black, you can be executed by police for having a water pistol and they'll say you were 'no angel.' If you're white, you can murder a bunch of Asian women and they'll say you were having a 'bad day.'"

Brett Wilkins

In what many observers are calling the latest display of racist double standards, a Georgia sheriff's captain raised eyebrows and ire Wednesday after suggesting the alleged gunman arrested the previous night for killing eight people—six of them Asian women—at three Atlanta-area massage spas acted because he was having "a really bad day." 

Cherokee Sheriff's Office Capt. Jay Baker made the widely condemned remarks during a joint press conference with Atlanta police regarding Tuesday's shootings, one of which occurred at Young's Asian Massage in Cherokoee County. Four people died and another person was injured in that attack.

Baker told reporters that the alleged killer—who reportedly confessed to the shootings—suffered from "sex addiction" and chose to attack massage spas to "take out that temptation."

"He was kind of at the end of his rope," said Baker. "Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did." 

Baker's comments sparked a firestorm of condemnation.

"It isn't hard to understand why it's so normalized for law enforcement to protect the humanity of white mass murderers and their willingness to continually make excuses them," tweeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). 

Some social media users compared Baker's remarks to Sen. Ron Johnson's (R-Wis.) recent declaration that he was not afraid of the overwhelmingly white insurrections who took part in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol—in which a police officer was one of several people killed—because they "truly respect law enforcement" and "loved this country," while he "might have" felt threatened by the attackers had they been Black or Antifa.

Others pointed to a BuzzFeed News article revealing Baker had previously published a Facebook post boasting that he purchased a T-shirt emblazoned with the racist slogan, "COVID-19: IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA." 

While the Georgia shooter said he did not act out of racial animus, his attacks—which came amid an alarming surge in anti-Asian violence and racism during the coronavirus pandemic—are being investigated as possible hate crimes. 

A report published earlier this week by Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group formed to combat rising xenophobia and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, said that nearly 3,800 hate-related incidents—including hundreds of violent attacks—have occurred since last March. 

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