A former Georgia sheriff's deputy, who recently pled guilty to a federal charge of possession of an unregistered firearm, once boasted about beating a Black person he'd arrested and shared plans to falsely arrest Black people for felonies to prevent them from voting, according to text messages he sent to an extremist group chat.
The Belleville News Democrat reported ex-Wilkinson County Sheriff's deputy Cody Richard Griggers was fired in November when the FBI alerted the Wilkinson Sheriff's Department about an investigation into Griggers' possession of illegal firearms in connection with a man in California who made violent threats on Facebook.
But for Griggers, accountability didn't end with losing his job.
The FBI's investigation into Griggers, which began when his name was discovered in connection to a violent extremist group chat self-titled "Shadow Moses," ultimately ended with the FBI searching Griggers' patrol car and home, where multiple illegal firearms were found, including "an unregistered short barrel shotgun" and a machine gun "with an obliterated serial number."
Now that he's pled guilty, Griggers will be sentenced in July and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
But beyond those alarming threats of violence, Griggers' hate-fueled comments in the group chat horrified the Wilkinson Sheriff's Department and led to his termination.
At one point, Griggers boasted about attacking a Black man, according to an affidavit seen by Belleville News-Democrat:
"I beat the (expletive) out of a [n-word] Saturday. (Expletive) tried to steal (a gun magazine) from the local gun store. ... Sheriff's dept. said it looked like he fell."
Griggers classified that incident as "sweet stress relief."
In another instance, Griggers divulged plans to use his power and racism to meddle in politics:
"Also I'm going to charge them with whatever felonies I can to take away their ability to vote."
He also chatted about "killing liberal politicians.
Griggers, a former US Marine, was fired from the sheriff's department just over a year after he took the post.
People were outraged by such an obvious illustration of systemic racism in action.
And so while the Wilkinson County Sheriff's Department responded swiftly in terminating Griggers after his hateful attitude became known, one is forced to wonder about how many other undiscovered attitudes continue to persist.