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Ben Crump calls Buffalo shooting ‘domestic terrorism’

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Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump said on Monday that the shooting that left 10 people dead in Buffalo, N.Y., over the weekend was an “act of domestic terrorism” 

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old shooting suspect, reportedly targeted the Tops grocery store because it was in a mostly Black neighborhood.

“What happened on Saturday was an act of domestic terrorism, and we have to define it as such,” Crump said during a press conference

“We can’t sugarcoat it. We can’t try to explain it away talking about mental illness. No, this was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by a young white supremacist. There is no question about his intentions,” he added.

Crump is representing the family of Ruth Whitfield, an 86-year-old Black woman and one of the 13 victims of the shooting, 11 of whom were Black.

“These grieving families deserve to know how a white supremacist, so vocal about his hatred, was able to carry out a premeditated and targeted act of terrorism against Black people – all while armed with an assault rifle fitted with a high-capacity magazine,” Crump said in another statement

“It’s an all-too familiar scenario, with the same tragic, but preventable ending,” he added. 

In writings ahead of the shooting, Gendron touted the so-called great replacement theory, or the false belief that there is a politically motivated push to replace white Americans with people of color by encouraging immigration. 

The teenage suspect has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder.

“It’s important that we not only hold accountable this individual who committed this hateful act, but we hold accountable those who curate this hate, who radicalize these young white supremacists,” Crump added on CBS.

The shooting has placed a spotlight on racist conspiracy theories that critics say are spread on conservative platforms including Fox News and repeated by some GOP lawmakers.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Monday slammed House Republican leadership, accusing the top lawmakers of enabling “white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-semitism” in relation to the shooting.

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