Urban League Twin Cities and JCRC of Minnesota and the Dakotas Horrified by Buffalo Shooting Targeting Black Americans
May 16, 2022
Minneapolis, MN – Steven Belton, President and CEO of the Urban League Twin Cities, and Steve Hunegs, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“The Urban League Twin Cities and JCRC of Minnesota and the Dakotas are horrified by yet another mass shooting motivated by white supremacist terrorism in our country, this time in Buffalo, New York. The terrorist in Buffalo embraced the racist and antisemitic ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory which, for example, similarly inspired attacks on Jews, Blacks, and Hispanics in Pittsburgh, Charleston, and El Paso, respectively, over the past several years. Our heavy hearts are with the victims, their loved ones, and the entire Buffalo community which has been traumatized by these events.
“This hate crime targeting Black Americans underscores the importance of the legislation we are supporting in partnership with the Communities Combating Hate Coalition that will assist community members reporting hate crimes.
“We also find it is worth noting that among the victims was a heroic retired Buffalo police officer whose bullets were ineffectual against the assailant outfitted in tactical gear with military style weapons. Our society must create solutions where someone with a track record of making hateful, violent threats is unable to arm themselves to commit murder. Anything short of stemming the free flow of assault style weapons into our communities simply enables the next attack to occur.
“Since 2016, the JCRC partners with the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, local police agencies, and African American congregations to train professional staff and volunteers at houses of worship on best practices for safety and security. The murderous attacks in Buffalo in combination with the suspect’s violently racist and antisemitic manifesto underscore the continued need for this training.
“For further reading about this attack, the motivation behind it, possible societal responses, and suggestions for talking about the incident with young people, please visit this webpage from our colleagues at the ADL.
“Lastly, we thank the Secure Community Network for their timely analysis and information sharing for the benefit of all communities victimized by hate.”
(Photo: Police officers secure the scene after a racially motivated shooting at TOPS supermarket in Buffalo, New York, U.S. May 14, 2022. insider.com/Reuters/Jeffrey T. Barnes)