US white supremacist had desire to ‘prevent Black people from replacing white people’

2022-06-16 11:45:51
US white supremacist had desire to ‘prevent Black people from replacing white people’

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday filed federal hate crime charges against a white supremacist accused of killing 10 Black people in Buffalo, New York, last month, saying he was driven by a desire to "prevent Black people from replacing white people."

Payton Gendron faces 26 counts of hate crimes and firearms offenses, according to the charges.

The complaint contains chilling details about the May 14 shooting, including a moment when Gendron turned to a white male victim who had been shot in the leg and said "sorry" before moving on, according to a sworn statement filed by an FBI agent.

"We will be relentless in our efforts to combat hate crimes and support communities terrorized by them, and to hold accountable those who perpetrate them," said Attorney General Merrick Garland, who traveled to the site of the shooting on Wednesday and met with victims' families.

Gendron, 18, could potentially face the death penalty if found guilty. Garland declined to say whether it would be sought if Gendron is convicted.

Gendron already faces the possibility of life in prison without parole on 25 New York state charges, including first- and second-degree murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate. He has pleaded not guilty.

A lawyer representing Gendron in the state case could not be reached for comment.

Gendron killed 10 people and wounded three at the Tops Friendly Markets in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo before police said he surrendered to officers inside the grocery store.

Reuters

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