15.04.2024

Biden demands US do better on racism amid Jacksonville shooting

President Joe Biden condemned racism and white supremacy in the wake of the racially-motivated Jacksonville shooting in which two men and one woman were killed.

The incident occurred at a Dollar General store located a few blocks away from the historically Black Edward Waters University.

The victims – identified as Angela Michelle Carr, 52, Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr, 19 and Jarrald De’Shaun Gallion, 29 – were shot dead by 21-year-old Ryan Palmeter who “hated Black people”.

The president issued a statement after the shooting. “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 in the statement.

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

“On Saturday, our nation marked the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington – a seminal moment in our history and in our work towards equal opportunity for all Americans.

“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.”

The shooting suspect was earlier spotted near the campus library and security personnel attempted to apprehend him, but he managed to flee.

In the moments leading up to the shooting, the parents of the gunman contacted law enforcement, informing them that they had discovered a manifesto.

The assailant had apparently phoned his parents before the assault, instructing them to check his computer.

Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters characterised the writings as a “repugnant ideology of hatred”.

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