Justice Dept files hate crimes charges against alleged Buffalo shooter

Justice Dept files hate crimes charges against alleged Buffalo shooter thumbnail

Washington – The Justice Department has filed multiple federal hate crimes charges against alleged Buffalo mass shooter Payton Gendron.

Prosecutors in the Western District of New York charged the 18-year-old White man with 26 counts of hate crimes and firearms offenses, some of which carry the possibility of the death penalty.

According to the criminal complaint, which was filed Wednesday, “Gendron’s motive for the mass shooting was to prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks. “

The complaint details Gendron’s movements from the parking lot of the grocery store into the building where he allegedly fired at mostly Black customers and a security guard. Gendron allegedly turned his gun towards another White man with a broken leg, according to the complaint. According to the affidavit, instead of shooting the victim, he merely said “sorry” before continuing shooting elsewhere. The affidavit stated that the rifle used in shooting contained names and phrases of others who had committed similar atrocities, as well as the words “Here’s your compensation!” “The Great Replacement.” “

During the attack, investigators say survivors hid in a stock room, a conference room, a freezer and a dairy cooler.

The FBI claims it found a letter from the suspect’s house in which he apologized for the attack and explained that he had “had to do this attack” because of his concern for “the future of the White race.” Investigators revealed in the charging documents that before the mass shooting, 18-year-old Gendron allegedly visited the grocery store on a number of occasions and “counted the number of Black people present inside and outside the store, observed the presence of two armed Black security guards, and noted the number of Black people in the area of the cash registers. Gendron is accused of committing violence based on the race of the victims.

He’s being charged with 10 counts of hate crime resulting in death, three counts involving bodily injury and attempt to kill, 10 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder and in retaliation to a crime of violence and three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in retaliation to a crime of violence.

Just over a month after 18-year-old Gendron opened fire inside a Buffalo Tops supermarket, killing 10 and wounding three others, Attorney General Merrick Garland is traveling to the site of the massacre Wednesday to pay his respects to the victims’ families.

In the aftermath of the massacre Garland declared that the Justice Department would investigate the matter for hate crime and racially motivated violent extremeism. Investigators claim that the suspect posted hundreds of pages of writings online detailing his plans and racist motivations for the violence just before the shooting. According to authorities, 11 of the 13 individuals who were shot were Black.

A state grand jury earlier this month indicted the alleged shooter with charges of domestic terrorism motivated by hate and 10 counts of first-degree murder. Payton Gendron, the accused shooter, has been held in custody since the May 14 attack and has pleaded not guilty.

Garland is traveling with Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke, whose division is a part of the federal hate crime investigation. The group will visit the Tops Market before meeting privately with survivors and families of victims.

At a press conference in Buffalo, Garland said that the Justice Department “agrees with the president that 18-year-olds should not be able to purchase a gun like this,” in reference to the AR-15-style firearm used by Gendron.

He noted that Congress is in the middle of “meaningful negotiations” about gun control and added, “We look forward to assisting Congress in any way we can in bringing those to fruition.”

U.S. U.S. The Justice Department announced new initiatives to combat hate crimes. They used grants to establish hate crime reporting hotlines in the state and to support community-based strategies to reduce their frequency. In addition, the department has appointed the first anti-hate crime resources coordinator in the last year. This coordinator is responsible for promoting hate crimes awareness among the community.

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