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Buffalo shooting – live: Mitch McConnell says Payton Gendron was ‘deranged’ and calls racism ‘abhorrent’

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Buffalo mass shooting: 10 reported dead as police investigate manifesto

Ten people are dead and a suspect is in custody after a gunman with a rifle and body armour opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York on 14 May, believed to be one of the deadliest racist massacres in recent American history, and the deadliest mass shooting in the US in 2022.

The shooting took place at Tops Friendly Market in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue in the state’s second-largest city, in a predominantly Black neighbourhood that authorities believe the suspect had specifically targeted. Thirteen people in total were shot. Among the victims, 11 were Black.

Close-up shots from a video of Saturday’s attack, which police say was filmed by the gunman himself, show the N-word and the number 14 — a known white supremacist code — written on the barrel of the gun in white paint.

A “manifesto” has been found online, connected to the 18-year-old suspect Payton Gendron, that references racist and white nationalist tropes and far-right conspiracy theories.

President Joe Biden arrived in Buffalo on Tuesday to “grieve” with the community and delivered remarks where he called Saturday’s attack “straightforward terrorism”.

“Hate will not prevail, white supremacy will not have the last word,” he said during a speech at a Buffalo community centre.

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GOP Senator accuses Biden of ‘making crap up’ in his Buffalo speech

A Republican Senator is accusing Joe Biden of making up “crap” about the prevalence of racist conspiracy theories in America as a way to “cover up” for his record on other issues.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was asked about president Biden’s call in a recent speech for all Americans to reject replacement theory, a white supremacist conspiracy theory that allegedly inspired the Buffalo shooter.

“I’ve never even heard of it, OK? I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Mr Johnson told Wall Street Journal reporter Lindsay Wise. “They’re just making this crap up to cover up their open borders and how disastrous that is for this country.”

Instead, the far-right Republican said, Mr Biden should be asked about his border and elections policies.

“Why are they letting millions of people in this country...He ought to answer why are they doing that? ... I can’t answer. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all,” he said. “None. It makes no sense. I can’t explain a lot of things. Why are they pushing for mail-in ballots?”

Here’s our story about Biden’s Buffalo speech.

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Tucker Carlson distances himself from racist ‘great replacement’ theory after Buffalo shooting

After the Buffalo shooting, Tucker Carlson sought to distance himself on his latest show from “great replacement theory”, a racist conspiracy theory that posits elites are intentionally trying to replace the white population with people of colour.

According to a New York Times analysis, Mr Carlson’s show has discussed variations on the theory more than 400 times since 2016.

Though the alleged Buffalo shooter appears to have claimed in a manifesto that Fox News was part of a “global conspiracy” against him, some commentators have argued that popular figures like Mr Carlson and others have legitimised racist ideas that inspired Saturday’s white supremacist shooting.

On his show on Monday, the Fox host painted alleged shooter Payton Gendron as a “mental patient,” and criticised attempts to draw political conclusions from the massacre.

“He writes like the mental patient he is. Irrational, disjointed, paranoid,” Mr Carlson said. “Now that’s true, not that it makes the atrocities he committed easier to bear. If your daughter was murdered on Saturday you wouldn’t care why the killer did what he did or who he voted for.”

Here’s our coverage of the controversy around Mr Carlson’s show and the shooting.

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Arizona senator under investigation for claiming Buffalo shooting was false flag attack

The Republican-controlled Arizona State Senate voted overwhelmingly on Monday to investigate one of their collegues, senator Wendy Rogers, after she claimed the Buffalo shooting was carried out by a federal agent.

The claims echo a conspiracy theory that’s been spread by white nationalists.

“Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo,” she wrote on her Telegram page not long after the shooting, using a far-right term for government employees.

The ethics inquiry could lead to a range of results, including expulsion from the legislative body.

Ms Rogers’s comments are “poisoning the soul of Arizona,” Senate Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios said.

The probe is the third time in a year Rogers has faced official discipline.

In March, she was censured after threatening to “personally destroy” fellow Republicans who stood against her after she spoke at a white nationalist poltical convention that called for hangings of her enemies.

A year ago, she also faced a complaint she harassed a legislative aide, which was dismissed.

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Livestream of Buffalo viewed millions of times, despite lightning-fast takedown from Twitch

A livestream video of the white supremacist mass shooting in Buffalo was taken down from Twitch “less than two minutes after the violence started,” according to the company, but that hasn’t stopped millions of people from watching the horrifying footage.

The video has been viewed more than 3 million times on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook as copies proliferate, The New York Times estimates.

Posts showed the video on Facebook lingered on the site for more than nine hours.

The chilling afterlife of such videos, which often inspire new mass shooters, is a particular challenge for tech companies and speech moderation tools.

“The challenge is not how many people watch the livestream,” Rasty Turek, CEO of Pex, a company that creates content identification tools, told The Verge. “The challenge is what happens with that video afterwards.”

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US gun production up three times since 2000, ATF finds

The number of guns made in the US has nearly tripled since 2000, rocketing up in the last three years, according to a report released on Tuesdy from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The growth in manufacturing was driven especially by demand for handguns.

There are now an estimated 400 million guns in the US.

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WATCH: Biden condemns ‘poison’ of white supremacy following Buffalo shooting

President Joe Biden arrived in Buffalo on Tuesday to “grieve” with the community and delivered an emotional speech where he called Saturday’s attack “straightforward terrorism”.

Watch some of his remarks below.

Biden condemns ‘poison’ of white supremacy following Buffalo shooting
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ICYMI: The problem with Biden’s speech about the Buffalo shooter

“I don’t want to unite with people that want me dead.”

That’s the argument from our Voices columnist Michael Arceneaux, who wrote yesterday that “responding to a racist massacre with a call for unity not only misses the mark, but is a waste of the power of the presidency.”

Here’s his full piece.

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Tech platforms' role in mass killings

The self-described white supremacist gunman who killed 10 people, most of them Black, at a Buffalo supermarket Saturday had mounted a GoPro camera to his helmet to stream his assault live on Twitch, the video game streaming platform used by another shooter in 2019 who killed two people at a synagogue in Halle, Germany.

He had previously outlined his plan in a detailed but rambling set of online diary entries that were apparently posted publicly ahead of the attack, although it’s not clear how may people might have seen them.

Continue reading the full story on The Independent to see how social media companies can play a role in modern day mass shootings.

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Schumer sends letter to Fox News asking network to stop amplifying ‘Great Replacement’ theory

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Fox News executives urging them to stop amplifying the “Great Replacement theory” after a shooting in Buffalo, New York left 10 people dead.

Mr Schumer, who represents New York in the US Senate, sent the letter to Fox Corporation chairman Ruper Murdoch, executive chairman and chief executive Lachlan Murdoch, Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott and president and executive editor Jay Wallace asking them to “cease and desist” amplifying the “Great Replacement” theory.

The racist theory postulates that Democrats and other shadowy elites, including Jewish people, want to supplant white Americans with Hispanic voters and other immigrants of colour.

Eric Garcia has the full story.

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Payton Gendron cased Tops market days ahead and had plans for longer rampage, according to police

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old white supremacist charged with killing 10 people over the weekend at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, had plans for an even longer rampage, according to police.

"We have uncovered information that if he escaped the [Tops] supermarket, he had plans to continue his attack," Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told ABC News. "He had plans to continue driving down Jefferson Ave. to shoot more Black people ... possibly go to another store [or] location."

Eleven of the 13 victims of the shooting were Black.

The alleged shooter began laying groundwork for the hate-filled attack began days before.

Mr Gendron reportedly visited the Tops store on 8 March, nearly a week before the shooting, where he made detailed sketches of the store’s layout and was confronted by a security guard.

Then, a day before the shooting, he dropped off extra boxes of ammunition at a mobile home belonging to longtime friend Matthew Casado, 19, claiming he was rearranging his house and needed extra space.

Mr Casado was at work at the time, and his roomates let Mr Gendron in.

The two had known each other since elementary school, and Mr Casado, who is Hispanic, told ABC he never thought of his friend as racist until the shooting.

“Up until Saturday when I got the news, I always thought he was a kind harmless person. He never stuck out to me as dangerous. He never stuck out to me as racist,” he said.

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