18 March 2021
To: Governor Kemp
Atlanta Chief of Police
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department
Georgia Attorney General
We the undersigned members of gun law reform group One Pulse for America are shocked and outraged at recent events in Georgia following the killing of Asian-American women by a white male – a white male who obtained a gun and hours later took innocent lives.
It is clearly easy in Georgia to obtain a firearm and kill within a matter of hours.
It is clearly difficult in Georgia to call out blatant racism and misogyny.
Both of those truths need to be remedied now.
Here are some of our concerns:
- In the climate of hatred faced by our Asian American fellow citizens, inflamed by Trump’s disgraceful hate speech (‘China ‘flu, Kung ‘flu) why would we as citizens – as decent people – not immediately conclude this is a hate crime? Perhaps for legal reasons the state is unwilling to do so – but even if we side with those who are cowardly about calling out this blatant racism: this was an attempt to attack women: and as such it is 100% a hate crime. Even the officers who shockingly put forward the accused’s feeble excuses at their press conference admitted he had a’ sex problem’. Therefore, it is not too early to say 100% this is a misogynistic crime. We are going to ask the state to swiftly confirm it is a racist crime as well.
- Speaking of what was said by officers at the press conference, spokesperson Jay Baker is accused by the Daily Beast of… selling racist Covid-19 shirts online. How did he get into the force and then onto the press conference panel? He and those sharing his attitudes must be expelled from law enforcement.
- Using the press conference to share the suspect’s unsubstantiated claims of mitigation and denial of racist intent was an inexcusable abuse of the event. It gives the remarks authority as they were made by police spokespeople at an official event. Sharing the remarks means future juries and press coverage could well be influenced in the accused’s favor. In fact – press coverage is already being slanted, referring to the accused as ‘church-going’. The next time there is a shooting by a white male, all they will need do is say they had a bad day and a sex issue – if we stay quiet about this. Of course the shooter would not admit to this being a racist crime: Georgia passed laws increasing the sentencing for racially-charged crimes. For the authorities to not have immediately labeled this as hate crime gives the defense maneuver room in court to say there was uncertainty about the intent. If it was too early to say these killings were racist/misogynist: then it’s too early to share the accused’s self-serving statements that could thwart the determination of his intent.
There must be gun law reform. There must be no hesitancy in calling out hate crime when it is as blatant as this. There is no room in law enforcement for someone who has and profits from having anti-Asian American views.
Please respond to our concerns with action, and with correspondence to Suzanne Kelly .