A former Georgia sheriff’s deputy is accused of labeling the beating of a Black man in Custody “sweet stress relief.” He also allegedly expressed a desire to charge Black people with felonies in order to prevent them from voting.
Via court records, federal investigators suggested 28-year-old Cody Richard Griggers of Montrose was a White supremacist. He also pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge.
According to CNN, in an affidavit supporting the government’s criminal complaint against the former Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Department deputy, an FBI agent highlighted messages allegedly written by Griggers that depicted hatred towards Black people and the LGBT community, while also speaking positively about the holocaust.
Court records state Griggers came on the FBI’s radar after agents seized the phone of a man under investigation in San Diego. The federal agency alleged Griggers, the San Diego suspect and another person who hasn’t been identified were part of a group-text that expressed anti-government views and hatred toward minorities.
In August 2019, the FBI claims Griggers sent a text describing an incident during which he used excessive force against a person of color who he suspected stole a firearm accessory from a local gun store, writing, “I beat the s**t out of a [n-word] Saturday.”
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“Sheriff’s dept said it look [sic] like he fell,” Griggers added, according to the FBI, and said the brutality incident was “sweet stress relief.”
The former cop also discussed his intentions to charge Black people with felonies to prevent them from voting.
“It’s a sign of beautiful things to come,” Griggers texted group members, according to the FBI. “Also I’m going to charge them with whatever felonies I can to take away their ability to vote.”
Grigger’s attorney Keith Fitzgerald told CNN his client “is not a bigot or a racist” and that the “inflammatory allegations are merely that — allegations.”
Despite his alleged racist language in the group texts, Griggers has not been charged with any civil rights violations. Instead, federal prosecutors charged him with unlawfully possessing an unregistered short-barrel firearm they seized during a November 2020 court-authorized search of his residence.