The white supremacist who killed ten African Americans in a Buffalo supermarket in mid-May was charged on Wednesday June 15 with “racist crimeby federal justice, announced the Minister of Justice during a trip to this city in the north of the United States.
Payton Gendron, 18, was already the subject of legal proceedings in the State of New York, for “domestic terrorism” and “assassinations“. He now faces a separate trial in federal court and faces the death penalty. He “caused immediate havoc and instilled lasting fearwithin the black population, denounced Merrick Garland during a press briefing. “At the Department of Justice, we consider it our legal and moral duty to combat hate crimes“, he added after meeting relatives of the victims.
An AR-15 type semi-automatic rifle
On May 14, after months of preparations, the young man had gone to a Tops supermarket in combat gear, armed with an AR-15 type semi-automatic rifle and a camera broadcasting his actions live on Internet. He had moved methodically through the parking lot and then into the store, shooting at customers and employees. It had caused ten deaths and three injuries, almost all black. His “motive was to prevent black people from replacing white people (…) and to inspire similar attacks“, according to the federal indictment which refers to a conspiracy thesis in vogue among white supremacists.
Several “racist slurswere written on his gun, along with the words “Great replacement“, the name of this theory popularized by the French writer Renaud Camus and popular with far-right circles, adds the document. In his computer, the investigators found the draft of a “manifestwrote in the months preceding the attack. He details his plans and explains that he chose the Tops store in Buffalo, located 300 km north of his home, because of the high proportion of African Americans living in the neighborhood. His goal, he wrote, was tokill as many black people as possible“.
The United States is still reeling from this killing and the semi-automatic rifle massacre at a school in Uvalde, Texas of 19 children and two teachers on May 24 by another 18-year-old before he was shot dead by the police.