The Belleville News-Democrat is reporting that a former Georgia sheriff’s deputy who was arrested on multiple gun charges once bragged in text messages that he would charge minorities with felonies to keep them from voting.
“The ex-Wilkinson County deputy, Cody Richard Griggers, of Montrose, was fired last November after the FBI contacted the sheriff there about an investigation into illegal guns and their alleged ties to a California man said to have made violent political statements on Facebook. Griggers, 28, a former Marine, pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court in Macon to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, a crime the authorities discovered in their probe, which began last summer. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in July.”
Griggers continued by saying he was “going to charge them with whatever felonies I can to take away their ability to vote.”
He also bragged that he had brutally assaulted a Black man, saying “I beat the (expletive) out of a (racial slur) Saturday. (Expletive) tried to steal (a gun magazine) from the local gun store. … Sheriff’s dept. said it looked like he fell.” There is no gun store in the area, so Griggers may have made up the last part.
“That never happened,” said the sheriff, Richard Chatman, who is black. “We don’t even have a gun shop here,” he said, chalking it up to Griggers just “being braggadocious.”
“I think he may have been working in the jail (at the time). … We looked at all the cases he may have been involved in and we never had any complaints on him of any kind. We looked back and we pulled (records) of anything that he had taken a warrant for, any call that he had gone on, and we found nothing [that raised any red flags].”
Griggers also made “frequent positive references to the Nazi holocaust” according to the report.
Griggers problems are likely to get worse after the FBI revealed what a search of his car found:
“The prosecutors said that on Nov. 19 last year that the FBI searched Griggers’ patrol car and found a machine gun ‘with an obliterated serial number,’ a weapon he was not allowed to have in his patrol car. An unregistered short barrel shotgun was found in his home,’ the statement went on. ‘In all, between the defendant’s residence and duty vehicle, officers found 11 illegal firearms.'”
The FBI has been warning about this problem of white supremacists infiltrating police forces across the country as far back as the mid-2000s.
In 2016, then-FBI director James Comey told law enforcement officials at a national conference that because of insufficient data on use of force against minorities, “Americans actually have no idea” whether racial bias is out of control. Pointing to public outrage at the time over police killings of black people, Comey added that “the absence of good information” aided in the belief that officers often target particular communities or races.
“That is the narrative,” he continued to the audience at the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “It is a narrative driven by video images of real misconduct, possible misconduct and perceived misconduct.”
But even if there aren’t hard statistics then or now, the problem of racial bias among law enforcement is not a new development. It has been a concern of the FBI for quite some time. Over 15 years ago, the FBI warned of the likely consequences of white supremacists infiltrating law enforcement, indicating it would be a big threat to national security.