Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old white teenager, is accused of opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle in a predominantly African-American neighborhood of Buffalo. Authorities say he carried out an act of “racially motivated violent extremism” at Tops Friendly Market on Saturday when he shot 13 people.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland and other Biden officials have called white supremacist violence one of the biggest terrorist threats the US faces after its propaganda hit a record in 2020.
President Joe Biden visits the mass shooting scene at a Buffalo supermarket to pay his respects and speak to the families of the victims on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. sources: Reuters / Andrew Harnik / AP
Investigators said they are examining Mr. Gendron’s online posts, which include a 180-page poster believed to be the author outlining the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory that whites were intentionally replaced by minorities through the immigration to the United States and elsewhere.
Mr. Biden did not specifically accuse. On Tuesday, Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson was singled out by Democrats for feeding the theory into hundreds of episodes of his show. Mr. Carlson called the Buffalo killer “immoral” and “insane”.
Payton Gendron appears during his arrangement at Buffalo City Court on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, New York. sources: AAP / AP
“Hate and fear get too much oxygen from those who pretend to love America,” Biden said, blaming politics and profits.
Mr. Biden, along with his wife, Jill, and a number of New York political leaders stopped at a memorial set up under a tree to pay their respects near the supermarket where gunshots rang out.
Biden reminded Americans that he ran for president to restore America’s soul, following his predecessor Donald Trump’s failure to denounce a lethal demonstration of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and took office weeks later. a deadly attack on the United States Capitol that included racist groups.
People attend a rally to mourn the victims of a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York state, United States, on May 16, 2022. A heavily armed 18-year-old white man shot and killed 10 people and wounded three others. on a Saturday in Buffalo, New York. Credit: Xinhua News Agency / Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima
But the Buffalo trip also showed how little Mr. Biden has achieved in cracking down on a rise in white supremacist groups or in curbing gun violence, with many Republican lawmakers blocking efforts to advance gun control measures and the country has suffered a wave of mass shootings in recent months.
Mr. Biden told reporters before he left Buffalo that he realizes it will be difficult to get the legislation passed.
A senior FBI official told Congress in November that the office was conducting some 2,700 investigations related to domestic violent extremism, and the Justice Department said in January that it was creating a new unit to counter domestic terrorism.