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Game warden’s social media posts spark racial controversy

Hunters in Mississippi are concerned after a game warden shared racist photos and comments on social media. (Source: WLBT, Devin Cockrell, Drik Carr)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 8:34 PM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2022 at 8:40 PM CDT
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COPIAH CO., Miss. (WLBT) - Bigoted and racist — that’s what some hunters and outdoorsmen are calling a Copiah County game warden after several controversial Facebook pictures and comments about a Black Santa Claus.

“I saw him post a picture with a black Santa Claus, and he kept on saying further and further into the racist jokes,” said Devin Cockrell, a Simpson County resident.

Game warden Robert Patrick’s Facebook post included comments such as “that last chimney you went down Santa was mighty smutty,” “is that a 9 mm in my back or a gift?” and “you say you want Kentucky Fried Chicken with your milk and cookies?”

These comments are causing concern in the hunting community. Devin Cockrell and Drik Carr say they are fed up with the comments.

“I mean, that’s scary because he’s walking around with a gun, and he’s got this authority, this badge, you know?” said Drik Carr, a Madison County resident.

“If he’s able to come onto your property, I mean, there’s no limit to how he can exercise his prejudice,” said Cockrell.

Cockrell and Carr say the comments are also impacting where they go hunting.

“Just not conduct I want to have to deal with in the field,” Cockrell said. Much less know that’s what’s policing everyone else in that area.”

According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks website, their policy “does not allow discrimination on the basis of race.” 3 on Your Side contacted them for a response, and they said they would not comment on a personnel matter.

Cockrell and Carr say they hope by bringing the posts to the attention of the department and the public, something will be done.

“He’s bragged on his post, ‘I’ve been here 33 years.’ You’ve been getting away with this for 33 years. It’s ridiculous. It is ridiculous,” said Carr.

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