The attorneys representing the family of Ruth Whitfield, one of the victims of last summer’s racially-motivated mass shooting in a Buffalo, NY supermarket, today addressed the media following the gunman’s guilty plea in a New York state court. DiCello Levitt’s Kenneth Abbarno, along with co-counsel Terry Connors and Ben Crump, and members of the victim’s family, spoke with the press for more than an hour today.
In his remarks, Abbarno poignantly noted that while the gunman had an opportunity to plead guilty in an effort to avoid the death penalty, his victims were stripped of that choice as callously gunned down as many Black victims as he could.
“I sincerely hope that with the efforts we are going to advance, that we will make Buffalo a better place. We’re going to make New York and the whole country a better place…. We’ve got to find it, identify it, and get people to call it [a hate crime] what it is,” Abbarno said.
On May 14, 2022, Payton Gendron, a 19-year-old, White man, opened fire on patrons of a Tops supermarket in a predominantly Black area of Buffalo, New York. An investigation found that he had targeted the store because of its predominantly Black clientele and went there with the intent of killing as many Black people as he could.
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