Prosecutors: Georgia Deputy Said Beating Black Man Was ‘Sweet Stress Relief’

Prosecutors: Georgia Deputy Said Beating Black Man Was 'Sweet Stress Relief' macon gerogia federal courthouse building (Dreamstime)

By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 30 April 2021 12:51 PM

A Georgia Sheriff's deputy boasted about beating a Black man, saying that it was "sweet stress relief," in a group chat conversation obtained by the FBI, federal prosecutors said this week.

Cody Richard Griggers, 28-years-old of Montrose, pleaded guilty in U.S. district court on Monday to one count possession of an unregistered firearm, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The charge resulted from an FBI investigation into a violent extremist group in which agents discovered a group chat that Griggers took part in where he "made statements that he was manufacturing and acquiring illegal firearms, explosives and suppressors," according to the Justice Department. "He also expressed viewpoints consistent with racially motivated violent extremism, including the use of racial slurs, slurs against homosexuals, and making frequent positive references to the Nazi holocaust."

Last November, FBI agents searched Griggers' residence and duty vehicle with the Wilkinson County Sheriff's Office, locating 11 illegal firearms in total, including a machinegun that had the serial number "obliterated," and was not issued to Griggers.

An updated complaint from November, shows a text thread about an incident in which Griggers used excessive force on a suspect that he claimed tried to steal a magazine for a handgun from a store. In a text dated Aug. 12, 2019, Griggers said, "Oh, got wrapped up in my AR and forgot to tell ya'll that I beat the shit out of a n—– Saturday."

He added that it was "sweet stress relief."

The sheriff for Wilkinson County, Richard Chatman, told The Macon Telegraph that the arrest Griggers described did not occur.

"That never happened," he said. "We don't even have a gun shop here."

Chatman added, "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 [suspicious]."

He noted that Griggers was fired last fall, and that he said at the time he was "sorry all this happened, that that wasn't really him."

"This former law enforcement officer knew that he was breaking the law when he chose to possess a cache of unregistered weapons, silencers and a machinegun, keeping many of them in his duty vehicle. Coupled with his violent racially motivated extreme statements, the defendant has lost the privilege permanently of wearing the blue," Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a statement. "I want to thank the FBI, ATF and Wilkinson County Sheriff's Office for their work investigating this case."

Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, added that "All law enforcement officers swear an oath to uphold the law and protect each and every citizen they serve. Griggers clearly violated his oath with his egregious actions and has no place in law enforcement."