Biden: U.S. must ‘clearly and forcefully’ reject racism after racially motivated shooting in Florida


President Joe Biden on Sunday called for America to reject White supremacy after a White gunman killed three Black people in Florida over the weekend in what police called a racially motivated attack.

The shooter, described by authorities as a white male in his twenties, targeted Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville on Saturday, killing three before committing suicide.

“Even as we continue searching for answers, we must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America,” Mr. Biden said in a statement.

“We must refuse to live in a country where Black families going to the store or Black students going to school live in fear of being gunned down because of the color of their skin. Hate must have no safe harbor. Silence is complicity and we must not remain silent,” he said.

The three victims were two men, 19-year-old A.J. Laguerre and 29-year-old Jerrald Gallion, and one woman, 52-year-old Michelle Carr.

Authorities said it was clear that gunman Ryan Palmeter was racially motivated based on manifestos he left behind declaring his motivations.

Mr. Biden noted that Saturday marked the 60th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington to end discrimination.  

“But this day of remembrance and commemoration ended with yet another American community wounded by an act of gun violence, reportedly fueled by hate-filled animus and carried out with two firearms,” Mr. Biden said.

The president added that federal officials opened a civil rights investigation and is treating the incident as a possible hate crime.


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