New York, NY (Wednesday, February 15, 2023) – Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), issued the following statement on the life sentence issued today for the gunman who murdered 10 Black people at a Buffalo grocery store last May. Hours after the shooter posted a manifesto padded with white nationalist ideology online, he opened fire at the Tops clad in body armor while livestreaming the carnage.
NAN was immediately on the ground to provide relief for the victims and the community at large. The organization covered part of the funeral costs for each victim, as Rev. Sharpton delivered the eulogies for two of the deceased. NAN also worked with local partners to help the community continue to access nutritious food after the grocery store closed. Rev. Sharpton additionally led a national call for President Biden to hold a summit on the startling rise in violent hate attacks, which he convened at the White House last September.
“We are living in two Americas today. While we are gathered in Tallahassee to protest state-sanctioned attempts to erase Black history, the court system has taken the righteous step of punishing the violence these efforts will continue to create. This young man had nothing but hatred for Black people in his heart. Hate drove him to post a manifesto on white supremacy, to put on body armor, to livestream his destruction for the world to see. The system saw this racism for what it was and delivered a strong response. This hatred will only get more violent if we allow politicians to take Black voices and Black stories out of the classroom.
Today’s sentencing will never undo the damage this man inflicted on these 10 families. We can never bring back the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the daughters and sons taken from us that day. These families have been changed forever, but united in their grief and resolved to see no one else experience what they have. My hope is that this sentencing will deliver them a degree of justice and closure as they continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones.”
About National Action Network (NAN)
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.
For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.net.