Justice Dept files hate crimes charges against alleged Buffalo shooter

Justice Dept files hate crimes charges against alleged Buffalo shooter

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, Gendron’s motive for the mass killing was to stop Black people from replacing and eliminating white people, and to inspire other people to do the same. “

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 were all Black among the 13 victims.

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 incident and has pleaded not guilty.

Garland will be traveling with Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gopta, whose division is part of the federal hate crimes investigation. After stopping at Tops Market, the group will meet privately with survivors and families of victims.

The attorney general will hold a press conference together with U.S. Assistant Trini Ross for New York’s Western District. Her office has federal jurisdiction over Buffalo and filed the charges Wednesday.

The Justice Department announced new initiatives to combat hate crimes. These include grants to establish hate crime reporting hotlines in the state and 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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