Among the many developments to appear in the wake of the domestic terroristic act enacted by Robert Aaron Long, the defense seemingly put forth by one law enforcement official was most puzzling. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jay Baker who said the 21-year-old shooter was having a “bad day,” previously hawked t-shirts with anti-Asian sentiments.
Snopes.com dug deep into the chatter surrounding Capt. Baker’s link to a company selling shirts that read, “Covid 19 IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA” along with a biological hazard symbol and COVID-19 emblazoned across the front.
Several folks on social media pointed out Baker was promoting the shirts via a now-defunct Facebook page, and Snopes was able to confirm a connection. As of March 17, a Facebook page reportedly belonging to Baker was scrubbed from the social media network but not before screengrabs and the like were obtained and shared widely.
The shirts in question are no doubt inspired by former president Donald Trump and his continued mocking of China and the coronavirus, dubbing it both the “China Virus” and “Wuhan Virus” on several occasions. Many observers believe that Trump and his supporters upheld the veiled racist attack thus sparking incidents of violence against Asian Americans nationwide. Others have dubbed the coronavirus “Kung-flu” which added fuel to the fire.
The shirts that Baker promoted were being sold by Deadline Apparel in Canton, Ga., nestled in Cherokee County where Long carried out his murderous attack on the massage parlors across the Atlanta Metropolitan region. It appears that Deadline Apparel is still selling the shirts. Baker has yet to comment regarding his past promotion of the wares.