Disturbing emails reveal ‘troubling priorities’ of local officials following Laken Riley’s murder

Disturbing emails obtained by Rep. Mike Collins, a Republican, show that local officials had all the wrong priorities after Laken Riley’s murder.

Obtained through the Georgia Open Records Act, the emails from Feb. 24th begin with Clarke County Sheriff John Q. Williams questioning Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz about the city’s “sanctuary city” status in the wake of Riley’s February murder by a criminal alien.

“I am respectfully requesting that someone from the Unified Government stand up and address the ongoing banter about Athens being a sanctuary city,” Sheriff Williams wrote. “It is my understanding this may have resulted from [former] Sheriff Edward’s statements or declaration years ago.”

“I am being bombarded with emails, phone calls and social media posts blaming me for the alleged status. It is my belief that such a declaration does not and has never been an authorized or legitimate power of any Sheriff in the state of Georgia,” he added.

Williams continued the email by demanding the local government address this mater.

“If the ACCUG [Athens-Clarke County Unified Government] embraces being considered a sanctuary, then come out and say so,” he wrote. “If not please clear this up.”

“If the ACCGOV will not address this, I will do everything in my power to protect the integrity and professionalism of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and myself. I look forward to any response and welcome any meeting or discussion to explain why this can or cannot be addressed,” he added.

As seen below, Collins personally believes this email shows that the sheriff cared more about PR concerns than anything else after Riley’s tragic and unnecessary murder by a criminal alien.

The next and final email was written by Mayor Girtz in response to Sheriff Williams’ email.

In the email, Girtz admitted that Williams’ predecessor had instituted a policy of not honoring ICE detainers for criminal aliens who hadn’t committed a regular criminal offense.

The mayor then admitted something else — that he supports this disastrous policy.

“While the community is experiencing deep trauma right now, and emotions are understandably raw, I support the detainer policy as one that is both humane and following the well-documented propensity of immigrants in the U.S. to be less criminally inclined than the native-born population,” he wrote.

So evidently, protecting criminal aliens is more important to him than protecting people like Riley, whose murderer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was released by the New York Police Department after an arrest in 2023 instead of being turned over to ICE.

Sadly, Girtz’s email only gets worse, with him going on to say that, in the wake of Riley’s murder, officials should focus on being comforting instead of, you know, trying to prevent another needless murder.

“My take-away for the moment is that in the immediate wake of a tragedy, to focus on the victim, avoid political messaging, focus on comfort and unity,” he wrote.

Collins was thoroughly disgusted.

“Instead of prioritizing solutions to prevent tragedies like this in the future, Mayor Girtz treats Laken Riley’s murder as a PR drill to be managed with ‘comfort and unity’ rather than enforcing the law,” he tweeted.

Responding to Collins’ reporting, users of the social media platform X blasted both the sheriff and especially the mayor over their misplaced priorities.


Vivek Saxena


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