US President Joe Biden and First lady Jill Biden arrive on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington, DC, USA, 26 August 2023, after a vacation in Nevada. EFE-EPA/Yuri Gripas/POOL

‘No place for white supremacy:’ Biden grieves murder of 3 black people by racist gunman

Washington, Aug 27 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden condemned white supremacy on Sunday after a man killed three African-Americans at a Florida retail store in an act of gun violence “fueled by hate-filled animus.”

“We must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America,” Biden said in a statement, expressing grief over the deadly shooting rampage at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville.

Biden noted that law enforcement had initiated a federal civil rights investigation and treated the shooting “as a potential hate crime and an act of domestic violent extremism.”

The president regretted that the gun violence occurred as the nation observed the 60th anniversary of March on Washington Martin Luther King Jr., considered a significant milestone in the civil rights movement and the pursuit of equal opportunity for all Americans.

He lamented that the day of remembrance and reflection concluded with another American community scarred by an act of gun violence.

“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,” Biden said.

“Hate must have no safe harbor. Silence is complicity and we must not remain silent.”

Separately, US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department had launched an investigation into the racial crime, calling it “a horrific act of hate.”

“No person in this country should have to live in fear of hate-fueled violence and no family should have to grieve the loss of a loved one to bigotry and hate,” Garland said.

Garland said the Justice Department is investigating the attack as a “hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.”

These strong condemnations against the alleged racially motivated killings followed a white supremacist’s shooting spree that resulted in three deaths before he took his own life.

The assailant, Ryan Palmeter, 21, used a long rifle and a legally purchased Palmetto brand pistol that he had adorned with a swastika.

The victims include Angela Carr, 52, who was killed in her vehicle outside the store; A.J. Laguerre, 19, a store employee shot while attempting to escape; and Gerrald Gallion, 29, by bullets while entering the outlet.

Before the attack, the perpetrator had attempted to enter Edward Waters University, an institution traditionally serving the black community. However, a security officer denied entry after seeking his identification.

Biden has made several unsuccessful calls to Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by Palmeter in the attack. EFE