Buffalo mass murder suspect makes brief court appearance

An 18-year-old white man accused of killing 10 people in a live-streamed racist shooting at a supermarket in a black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, briefly appeared in court on Thursday, and the judge set a date next month for his next hearing. . The latest racist mass shooting in the United States – at a Tops Friendly Markets store on Saturday – has reignited a national debate about guns, domestic terrorism, hate and the internet’s role in spreading it.

Payton Gendron, who was arrested at the store, appeared Thursday morning before Buffalo City Court Judge Craig Hannah, who set the next court hearing for June 9. Gendron was dressed in orange prison gear and wore a white medical mask over his face. His hands were chained.

At the end of the hearing, someone in the courtroom gallery shouted, “Hey, you’re a coward!” At a previous hearing, hours after police said he opened fire with a semi-automatic assault rifle, Gendron was arraigned on a single count of first-degree murder, punishable by maximum sentence of life in prison without parole in New York. . He pleaded not guilty and was held without bail. During the attack, 13 people were hit by gunfire, mostly black people, and 10 of them were killed.

The FBI immediately said it was investigating the rampage as a hate crime and an act of ‘racially motivated violent extremism’, and authorities pointed to a white supremacist rant he is believed to have published. online before the shooting. It was unclear whether Gendron would immediately face additional charges from the state.

President Joe Biden, during a visit to Buffalo on Tuesday, condemned white nationalists, as well as the online platforms, media and political rhetoric he criticized for spreading racist conspiracy theories. “What happened here is simple and straightforward: terrorism, terrorism, domestic terrorism, Biden said.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday opened an investigation into multiple social media platforms she said the Buffalo grocery shooter used to plan, promote and broadcast the offensive. Governor Kathy Hochul announced additional measures to combat domestic terrorism, including legislation to toughen New York’s gun laws and a directive for state police to exercise their authority to disarm people. considered a public threat under the state’s red flag law.

She accused social media sites of allowing violent extremism to thrive and said the Buffalo shooting reflected an intersection between “the mainstreaming of hate speech…and easy access to military-style weapons.” Gendron is accused of having broadcast in real time the video of the attack he was committing on Twitch, a live video platform owned by Amazon.com Inc.

While Twitch said it deleted the video in two minutes, screenshots of the show circulated on social media throughout the day. Footage of the live stream could still be found on the internet as recently as Wednesday morning. Authorities said the suspect also allegedly posted a long racist screed online describing the ‘grand replacement theory’ – the idea of ​​minorities replacing white people in the United States and other countries – as well as a list control and a log of his attack preparations.

Buffalo police say Gendron first came to the attention of local law enforcement almost a year before the Buffalo shooting, when police arrested him after he made a threat to his school. secondary school, and that he was released after a mental health examination. Hochul said the murder weapon was purchased legally, but modified with a high-capacity magazine banned in New York.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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