Vice President Kamala Harris tells Buffalo mourners: Stand up for what’s right

BUFFALO, NY — Saturday’s funeral of 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield, the oldest and final victim of a racist attack by a gunman at a Buffalo supermarket, became a call to action and an emotional plea to stop the hate and violence, that shook the nation.

Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking to mourners at Buffalo’s Mount Olive Baptist Church at the urging of Rev. Al Sharpton, said this is a moment for “all good people” to rise up against the injustice that is happening at the tops Friendly happened at Market on May 14, as well as at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and other mass shootings.

“We will not allow little people to create fear in our community,” she said. “We will not be afraid to stand up for what is right, to speak the truth, even when listening and speaking are difficult.”

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who delivered a fiery tribute to Whitfield at the start of the funeral service, called on gun manufacturers to hold accountable all “accomplices” who helped and abetted “that monster” who opened fire at the supermarket and distributors to the suspect’s parents.

Crump said those who “teached and radicalized this young, insecure individual” should also be held accountable for taking Whitfield out of her family, the Buffalo community and the planet. He called her “one of the most angelic figures we have ever known”.

“It’s a sin that this young depraved man, not a boy, killed Ruth Whitfield and the ‘Buffalo 10,'” Crump said, referring to the victims.

Whitfield was at Tops Friendly Market after visiting her 68-year-old husband at a care home when a gunman, identified by police as 18-year-old Payton Gendron, started the fatal attack.

Authorities said Gendron, who is white, targeted the store three hours from his Conklin home because it is in a predominantly black neighborhood.

A total of 13 people were shot dead in the attack, which federal authorities are investigating as a hate crime. Three people survived.

Whitfield was the mother of former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield.

Gendron is charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail. His attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Vice President Kamala Harris tells Buffalo mourners: Stand up for what’s right

Laura Coffey

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