Captain Jay Baker, of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, spoke about the arrest of Robert Aaron Long during a press conference at the Atlanta Police Department headquarters in Atlanta, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Captain Jay Baker, of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, spoke about the arrest of Robert Aaron Long during a press conference at the Atlanta Police Department headquarters in Atlanta, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Official who said spa shootings suspect had ‘bad day’ promoted anti-Asian shirt last year

Six of the eight victims of Tuesday’s attacks were of Asian descent

A Facebook page appearing to belong to a Georgia sheriff’s office spokesman who is helping to investigate the recent massage parlour slayings promoted a T-shirt with racist language about China and the coronavirus last year.

“Place your order while they last,” the March 2020 Facebook post said, along with a smiley face emoji.

The Facebook account, belonging to a “Jay Baker,” features numerous photos of Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker going back months, including one in which he is in uniform outside the sheriff’s office. The account was deleted Wednesday night.

The discovery of the Facebook post comes amid concerns from some Asian Americans that authorities are not treating the killings, which mainly targeted women of Asian descent, as hate crimes.

Baker also came under criticism for saying Wednesday that the 21-year-old man accused of carrying out the massacres had had a “bad day.”

“He was pretty much fed up and kind of end of his rope and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Baker said during a news conference.

READ MORE: Atlanta-area shootings leave 8 dead, many of Asian descent

Asian American activists said Baker’s comments and the Facebook post undermine public confidence that investigators are adequately addressing Tuesday’s atrocity.

“To see this post is both disturbing and outrageous. It speaks to the structural racism that we’re all up against,” said Vincent Pan, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a civil rights organization working to address anti-Asian hate crimes. “Coupled with the comments coming out of the news conference, it does not give community members confidence that our experiences and the pain and the suffering that we’re feeling are being taken seriously, at least by this particular person.”

Before the Facebook page was taken down, dozens of people Wednesday evening decried the shirt’s racist language.

“It’s `jokes’ like these that dehumanize Asian-Americans and lead to violence,” wrote one person.

Six of the eight victims of Tuesday’s attacks were of Asian descent, including two of the four victims who were killed in Cherokee County.

Baker did not respond to voicemails and an email requesting comment on the Facebook post. The sheriff’s office also did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Shooting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley City mayor urges people to stick to health order rules

Stay strong and support local businesses, says van den Broek

A classic Porsche Speedster replica caught fire on a Langley road around 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Darren Carlson/Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Porsche replica car catches fire on Langley road

Township firefighters responded to the incident on Saturday evening

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives. (Photo: flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Local agency given more bucks to combat anti-racism

Langley Community Services one of 36 organizations given added funds

Langley Township council passed a tree protection bylaw in 2019, but one resident says the municipality does not do enough to preserve valuable trees. (Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley Township fails to protect enough trees, writer says

Resident said community should not cut trees then find man-made solutions to mitigate climate impact

The Langley School District has issued another COVID-19 notification for Peter Ewart Middle School. (Langley Schools)
Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Most Read