In the aftermath of the tragic Buffalo shooting Saturday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) placed heightened focus on suspected “white supremacist” motivations and social media complicity, “if not legally…morally,” while the NYPD added patrols for fear of copycats.
18-year-old Payton Gendron of upstate New York was charged with first-degree murder late Saturday after authorities arrested him at a Buffalo, NY grocery store following a shooting that killed at least 10 individuals and wounded 3 others. As BizPac Review reported, the suspect had been attempting to livestream the assault in accordance with a manifesto posted online that mentioned the 2019 New Zealand mosque shooting.
“These outlets must be more vigilant in monitoring social media content and certainly the fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent human beings could be live-streamed on social media platforms and not taken down within a second says to me that there is a responsibility out there,” Hochul detailed in a press conference following the shooting.
“The social media platforms that profit from their existence need to be responsible for monitoring. They can in a sense become an accomplice if not legally, but morally,” she noted while decrying the suspects actions as “white supremacist terrorism.”
Nypd deploying extra units across city including houses of worship/Black churches as a precaution after shooting in Buffalo. More on News 4 at 11.
— jonathan dienst (@jonathan4ny) May 15, 2022
It was later reported that the New York Police Department was taking extra precautionary measures in black communities as a response to the shooting. WNBC’s Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst tweeted, “Nypd deploying extra units across city including houses of worship/Black churches as a precaution after shooting in Buffalo.”
NYPD spokesman Sgt. Brendan Ryan reported to Newsweek in an email that, after reviewing the suspect in their databases, there was no credible connection to New York City, but that they weren’t willing to take any chances.
“While we assess there is no threat to New York City stemming from this incident,” Ryan wrote, “out of an abundance of caution, we have shifted counterterrorism and patrol resources to give special attention to a number of location and areas including major houses of worship in communities of color.”
WABC reported that those extra patrols included cops posted outside Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem in addition to other locations.
Hochul further added on social media’s involvement, “we’re going to continue to work on this and make sure that those who provide those platforms have a moral and ethical and I hope to have a legal responsibility to ensure that such hate cannot populate these sites.”
“Because this is the result when you have individuals who use these platforms and talk to others who share these demented views and support each other and talk about the techniques that they’ll engage in and post these ideas and share them with others in the hope that they can all someday rise up in their demented view of the world,” she declared, adding possible motivation for the heightened measures in NYC.
A spokesperson for the live-streaming platform Twitch responded to the incident by noting that they already do not tolerate broadcasting violence and that the stream was removed within two minutes of its beginning, according to the Daily Mail.
“We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo, New York,” the Twitch statement read. “Our hearts go out to the community impacted by this tragedy. Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents. The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.”
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