Earlier this year, The Root reported that a racist-as-hell former Wilkinson County, Ga., sheriff’s deputy, Cody Richard Griggers, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Macon to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm. FBI investigators who looked into Griggers’ crimes found that he was in possession of nearly a dozen illegal weapons and that he had bragged in text messages about how he “beat the fuck out of a nigger” he suspected of theft—a claim the Wilkinson County sheriff said never actually happened—and how he was planning to arrest Black people on trumped-up felony charges to keep them from voting.
Griggers was facing a maximum of 10 years in prison, but because America is still America and Georgia is still Georgia, he got off light. On Tuesday, the ex-cop, whose last name rhymes with his favorite racial slur, was sentenced to just three years and eight months, according to federal prosecutors.
“This former law enforcement officer violated his oath of office in many ways,” Chris Hacker, FBI special agent in charge of the Atlanta field office, said in a statement, NBC News reports. “The most egregious was by threatening the very citizens he was sworn to protect with his words of racially motivated violence. Now he is being held accountable by serving time in prison and never being able to wear the blue again.”
Is he really being held accountable, though?
It’s unclear why Griggers was only prosecuted on one count of unregistered firearm possession when prosecutors said authorities found a total of 11 illegal guns in his home and patrol car. But what’s arguably more disturbing is that an ex-cop—who made boastful claims about committing egregious acts of police brutality against a Black person, and a man who expressed plans to arrest Black people for no other reason but to “charge them with whatever felonies I can to take away their ability to vote”—will be back on the street in less than four years.
Sure, he might not be a cop anymore, but he’s still an act of white supremacist terrorism waiting to happen.
He was arrested after the FBI was investigating another man for violent political statements on social media, which included calls for a vigilante militia, according to court documents.
Investigators then found group texts in which Griggers talked about making illegal guns, explosives and suppressors, officials said. In addition to the slurs and other views consistent with violent extremism, he made “frequent positive references to the Nazi holocaust,” prosecutors said.
For certain types of criminals, accountability just looks like light work. Men like Griggers are why many Black people don’t trust the police and don’t feel safe in their presence, whether they’ve actually done something wrong or not.