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Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Delivers Remarks Announcing Accused Tops Shooter Charged with Federal Hate Crimes and Using a Firearm to Commit Murder


Buffalo, NY
United States

Remarks as Delivered

Thank you, U.S. Attorney Ross.

It is tragic that we are standing here in the aftermath of such a horrifying act of violence. And we grieve with the families who lost loved ones, and for this whole community. Hate crimes are insidious — they instill fear across entire communities and they undermine the principles upon which our democracy stands. No person — and no community — should ever have to experience this. 

As the Attorney General mentioned, around the time that the Justice Department was founded, the Ku Klux Klan was carrying out a reign of terror against Black Americans. More than 150 years later, white supremacists are still terrorizing Black Americans and other communities of color, and the Justice Department will not tolerate it.

The Justice Department’s top priority is holding accountable those who commit these heinous acts. But we must all continue to combat hate and discrimination in all of its forms, and address them before they ever escalate to violence. Every community deserves to feel safe and protected.

Through vital grant programs and technical assistance, the department is working diligently to support victims and jurisdictions that have experienced these traumatic incidents of mass violence. Here in Buffalo, the Office for Victims of Crime deployed two expert mass violence consultants to work with the community and state officials and ensure that everyone who needs and wants services has continued access to mental health and other resources.

The Justice Department stands with you, and we will continue working to make real this nation’s promise of justice and equality under the law.

I am now going to pass it to Assistant Attorney General Clarke.

Hate Crimes
Updated June 15, 2022