WATCH: Learning about the lives lost in Buffalo supermarket shooting
A civil rights activist and attorney representing the family of one of the victims of the Buffalo supermarket mass shooting said the incident was an “act of domestic terrorism.”
“What happened on Saturday was an act of domestic terrorism,” Benjamin Crump said Monday during a press conference. “We have to define it as such.”
On Saturday, 18-year-old Payton Gendron was arrested and accused of killing at least 10 and injuring three at Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighbourhood in Buffalo, N.Y.
Gendron allegedly wrote a 180-page manifesto before the attack outlining his racist views, including the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory that asserts whites are being replaced by minorities in the U.S. and in other countries.
Crump on Monday said others are pushing such a theory on young people in America, which is “indoctrinating their minds to go out and commit violence.”
Crump also called out politicians “who are trying to use fear to inspire their base,” calling them “accomplices to this murder.”
“Even though they may not have pulled the trigger, they did load the gun for this white supremacist,” he said.
Crump is one of the attorneys representing the family of Ruth Whitfield, who was killed on Saturday. Whitfield, 86, was the mother of former Buffalo fire commissioner Garnell Whitfield and stopped at Tops on her way home from visiting her husband of 68 years in a nursing home.
Crump said Whitfield was a “great lady” and a “hero for this community.” His comments came with Whitfield’s family near him, visibly grieving.
“This is so painful and emotional,” he said.
— More to come.
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