Georgia official sparks outrage with bizarrely sympathetic comments about suspected mass murderer
In the Atlanta area, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long is the suspect in a series of violent attacks on Asian spas that left eight people dead — six of them Asian women. Cherokee County Sheriff's Capt. Jay Baker, discussing the investigation with reporters at a joint news conference with Atlanta Police this week, expressed bizarrely sympathetic-sounding comments for the suspect — triggering a backlash on social media.
Baker said of Long, "He was pretty much fed up and has been kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him. And this is what he did."
At a news conference, a law enforcement official says early indications are that Atlanta-area mass shooter Robert A… https://t.co/rAmjuO7xho— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1615992236.0
Long, according to the Daily Beast, told law enforcement that he was struggling with sex addiction and described the massage parlors as "a temptation" that he that he "wanted to eliminate."
New: Atlanta shooting suspect told police he had “sexual addiction”, “indicators now may not be” racially motivated… https://t.co/BtRt2RFBlz— Jim Sciutto (@Jim Sciutto) 1615991975.0
On social media, Baker's comments are inspiring a conversation about racism and criminal justice in the United States — and some Twitter users are observing that if the suspect were Black, a sheriff wouldn't be talking about the person having a "really bad day" when he was suspected of having just murdered eight people at random.
According to The Atlantic's Jemele Hill:
If this murderer were Muslim, Black, or basically anything other than white, there is no way killing innocent peopl… https://t.co/C403g1RPsf— Jemele Hill (@Jemele Hill) 1616007348.0
Angela Chen, a reporter for KESQ-TV — the ABC affiliate in Palm Springs, California — tweeted:
Imagine losing your loved one to a senseless shooting, and the police captain says this about the shooter: “Yester… https://t.co/fik3pnygWG— Angela Chen KESQ (@Angela Chen KESQ) 1615994914.0
Here are some other reactions to Baker's comments:
It’s insane to me that the Sheriff just casually says “He was fed up, at the end of his rope...yesterday was a real… https://t.co/16fTlOvtA5— Wu-Tang Is For The Children (@Wu-Tang Is For The Children) 1615997728.0
@BrendanNyhan This kind of humanizing language isn't even typically afforded to non-white VICTIMS of crime, let alone suspects.— Ajua Duker (@Ajua Duker) 1616004441.0
@BrendanNyhan @brianklaas Pretty neat of law enforcement to provide a defense for the murderer less than 24 hrs after the murders.— Phil Ochs (@Phil Ochs) 1616004439.0
@AngelaWChen @KristenLee Yeah, that's called SES, Selective Empathy Syndrome. Very common with cops.— Basic Beyotch (@Basic Beyotch) 1615995329.0
@AngelaWChen @Chrisalexand3r I’m sick to my stomach when he said yesterday was a bad day for this murderer, just si… https://t.co/T4rGqadRj8— J.R Cruz (@J.R Cruz) 1615998422.0
@AngelaWChen The flippancy of that comment is surreal. Many of us have had many bad days during this past yr. Asian… https://t.co/FyjDh5tseh— Ella (@Ella) 1616005286.0
@AngelaWChen That is such a horrible way to frame the narrative of what happened. I don't care what kind of day tha… https://t.co/un2XJiMsOw— DiceClub (@DiceClub) 1615996163.0
@WUTangKids @RexChapman It was an even worse day for the 8 dead.— Karen O'Connor (@Karen O'Connor) 1615998583.0
@WUTangKids @RexChapman Well, that’s one explanation. The other one is that he is bat shit crazy decided that he wanted to kill some people.— Joe Mandt (@Joe Mandt) 1615998696.0
@WUTangKids @RexChapman If a society is a point when getting fed up and having a really bad day can lead to murderi… https://t.co/BDLIAhB50D— Savio Wong (@Savio Wong) 1615999183.0
@AngelaWChen Let me guess. He went with the "sex addiction" BS because his lawyer advised him to do so to avoid hat… https://t.co/T5LGUQT8EX— The Dragon of East Rock (@The Dragon of East Rock) 1616000365.0
@AngelaWChen @kama_sue Well maybe next time you have a bad day, try therapy instead of murder???— Morgan Menzel (@Morgan Menzel) 1615996193.0
@jemelehill The idea behind incarceration is to remove from society those who can't responsibly/safely remain among… https://t.co/8uST27zJKb— Gordon Mitchell Smith (@Gordon Mitchell Smith) 1616007471.0
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