Georgia official sparks outrage with bizarrely sympathetic comments about suspected mass murderer

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."

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."

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:

Angela Chen, a reporter for KESQ-TV — the ABC affiliate in Palm Springs, California — tweeted:

Here are some other reactions to Baker's comments:


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