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Ex-Georgia Sheriff Resigns From State Position After Resurfaced Photo Shows Him In Ku Klux Klan Outfit

Ex-Georgia Sheriff Resigns From State Position After Resurfaced Photo Shows Him In Ku Klux Klan Outfit
Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

A former Georgia Sheriff has resigned from his high-level state position after photos of him in Ku Klux Klan robes surfaced for the second time.

Roger Garrsion, who was appointed to Georgia's Judicial Qualifications Commission watchdog organization just over 10 days ago, resigned last week amid the ensuing controversy.

The photo, which first surfaced in 2012, shows Garrison and a friend in full KKK regalia Garrison claimed at the time was just a Halloween costume.

When the photo was first uncovered in 2012 during Garrison's reelection campaign, he claimed that the KKK outfit was meant to be a reference to a scene in the 1974 Mel Brooks satirical film Blazing Saddles, and that he has no affiliation to the Ku Klux Klan.

Garrison, who was in his 20s at the time the photo was taken, chalked it up to a youthful mistake:

"I don't deny it wasn't stupid, looking back now. But there again I say, 'What 21- or 22-year-old in this world hasn't made some stupid mistakes?'"
"I would just ask that they look at my honor and my integrity and the things we've done for this Sheriff's Office."

Garrison also said in 2012 that the photo was being publicized for purely political reasons, as he was being challenged for the Republican Party nomination for Sheriff that year. He ended up winning the primary by a wide margin anyway and ran unopposed in the general election.

Things have gone very differently this time, however. When asked about the controversy by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week, Ralston simply chose not to answer the question. Rather, via spokesperson Kaleb McMichen, Ralston simply confirmed Garrison had already resigned and that he would be replaced "as soon as [is] practical."

On Twitter, many people were angered by the incident, and virtually no one was convinced by Garrison's Halloween-costume explanation.

Garrison was the sheriff of Cherokee Country for 20 years and retired in 2016.