Attorney Ben Crump hopes to keep up those “at the root of the hate” accountable in Buffalo supermarket shooting

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump says the gunman who allegedly targeted victims based on their race in a New York supermarket mass shooting isn’t the only person who should be held accountable for the victims’ deaths. Crump — who has represented families in high profile situations such as Trayvon Martin’s death — says those who “curate the hate” and are “at the root of the hate” are to blame in addition.

“They may not have pulled the cause that killed those 10 innocent people in that grocery store, but they certainly loaded the gun,” Crump, whose law firm is representing some of the victims’ families, told “CBS Mornings” on Friday.

Last month, Payton Gendron, a white 18-year-old man, allegedly opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, resulting in the deaths of 10 people and the injury of three others. An investigation revealed a hate-filled manifesto believed to be written and posted online by Gendron prior to the attack where he allegedly said he targeted the specific store due to its high Black population. 

Gendron was indicted by a grand jury on a domestic terrorism charge motivated by hate in addition as 10 counts of first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Crump said some family members of the Buffalo shooting victims will head to the U.S. Senate next week to testify during a hearing on gun reform and white supremacy. 

He called President Joe Biden’s recent plea for Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines nationwide “a step in the right direction,” 

“I can’t fathom, Nate, why a person needs an AR-15 gun,” he told “CBS Mornings” co-great number Nate Burleson. 

Crump called for civility, tolerance, respect, and humanity in addition as “choosing social justice over this lynch mob mentality” — all themes the attorney addresses in his upcoming Netflix documentary, “Civil.”

“I believe that God blessed me with this influence and shame on me if I don’t use this influence to try to do everything I can to help those who don’t have a voice,” he said. “At the end of the day this is about trying to make a better world for all of our children and if I can do that, then my living won’t be in vain.”


Tori B. Powell


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