The accused of killing African Americans last month at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, has been charged with federal hate crimes, the US Department of Justice announced on Wednesday (June 15). Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old shot dead 10 African Americans on May 14. According to a criminal complaint, Gendron faces 26 counts of hate crimes and firearms offences. Notably, federal hate crime charges mean life in prison or even the death penalty.
The charges indicate that Gendron was motivated by racial hatred when he shot people. with a semi-automatic assault weapon. The charges stated, “Gendron’s motive for the mass shooting was to prevent blacks from displacing whites and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to carry out similar attacks.”
The charges were announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who traveled to Buffalo and met with family members of those killed. He said: “Acts of violence fueled by hatred terrorize not only individuals who are all under attack, but entire communities. We fully recognize the threat that hatred and violent extremism pose to the security of the American people and American democracy.”
He added: “No one in this country should have to live in fear of going to work or shopping at a grocery store and being attacked by someone who hates them because of the color of their skin.” .
The recent Buffalo incident and mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas shocked the nation. An increase in gun violence and mass murder has prompted renewed calls for reform of national gun laws.
In the aftermath, a bipartisan group of senators recently announced measures aimed at controlling the recent increase in gun violence in the country. They mapped out a framework for new legislation.
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Post expires at 8:29pm on Saturday June 25th, 2022