“Calls grow to investigate Allen shooting as a hate crime”
A shooter with ‘tattoos of Nazi imagery and expresses a fascination with mass shootings’ murders eight in a Texas mall where ‘most or all of the victims of the shooting were people of color, and disproportionately Asian American’. Yet Republican authorities in Texas refuse to call it a hate crime.
What is a hate crime? A hate crime is a criminal offense, one motivated by bias toward gender identity, ethnic background or race: the perpetrator selects their victim because of who they are… Check the facts on this infographic and decide for yourself if the Allen Mall mass shooting was a hate crime?
What is a hate crime?
“A hate crime is a criminal offense, one motivated by bias toward gender identity, ethnic background or race: the perpetrator selects their victim because of who they are, or who they are perceived to be. In some cases, prosecutors will use federal law to charge an individual with hate crime. The first federal hate crimes statute was signed into law in 1968, and it has been expanded several times since, such as including protections on the basis of disability.” – BBC
Why is the classification of hate crime important?
When hate crimes occur, an entire community can feel threatened. Defining an act as a hate crime can reassure those within a community that they are protected, says Janice Iwama, of American University in Washington. If hate crimes are not recognized, she says, people may feel as though the law does not extend to them, or not in the same way: “They can be attacked, and nobody’s going to anything about it.”
Jordan Blair Woods, a professor at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, says that calling an offense as a hate crime, in the legal sense, goes beyond the question of sentencing: “It’s not just: does a person get more or less years behind bars? The effects of this type of violence bleeds out, into an entire community. To have this type of violence recognised is part of being included. It shows that a group is recognized, not only by the government, but also by the general community.”
Allen Outlet Mall Shooting
“Most or all of the victims of the shooting were people of color, and disproportionately Asian American. Since the shooting, community members have been calling on law enforcement and local politicians to classify the deadly mass shooting as a hate crime, with some advocates criticizing the official police response. “Anti-Asian racism is what brought us here today, but the history of Dallas is also about the communities who came together in solidarity and support for one another,” said Stephanie Drenka, founder of the Dallas Asian American Historical Society.
Images posted on the account in recent months include one of a torso, which is believed to be Garcia’s, showing a swastika and SS tattoo, as well as people dressed in Nazi uniform, including several on January 1, 2022, which the author of the account described as “my kind of people.”
In a post from the social media account just before the shooting, uncovered by Aric Toler, a researcher at investigative journalism group Bellingcat, the author described viewing school shootings as “like a sport or a comedy” and said the suspect in a recent shooting at a school in Nashville, Tennessee had “a decent kill score.” That attack left six dead including three nine-year-olds.
Officials said that the shooter was wearing a patch that said “RWDS”—an acronym for “Right Wing Death Squad,” a white supremacist phrase—when carrying out the shooting. An image of a vest with an “RWDS” patch was pictured on the social media account on April 21.
The Anti-Defamation League reviewed the posts and wrote, the suspect “was obsessed with violence and subscribed to a range of extremist ideologies, including antisemitism, violent misogyny and white supremacy.” It added that its researchers had a “high degree of confidence” that the account belonged to Garcia.
Support groups fighting hate crimes and gun violence
SAAVETX EMPOWERING SOUTH ASIANS:To increase the political power of Texas’s South Asian-American community through education, engagement, and empowerment.
Indian American Impact is a national organization that elevates the voices of Indian Americans, South Asians, and all historically excluded communities to ensure that every level of government reflects the diversity and values of the people it serves.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is the nation’s first Asian American legal and civil rights organization.
Ethnic Media Services buildsan effective advocacy voice by, for and with ethnic media to help sustain and grow the sector
Not In Our Town is a movement to stop hate, racism and bullying, and build safe, inclusive communities for all.
TakeAway: Call hate crimes for what they are. Vote for politicians who support common sense gun laws to curb mass shootings and hate crimes.
DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.
Mauricio Garcia’s Nazi Posts Before Texas Mall Shooting Raise Questions – Newsweek
After Texas Mall Shooting, Searching for Motive and Grieving for Children – NY Times
‘Negligent and irresponsible’: Calls grow to investigate Allen shooting as a hate crime – Houston Public Media
Texas mall shooting victims include guard, young sisters – Intercast News
Allen gunman signed name with Nazi symbol on security guard application but still got license – KERA News
What is a hate crime in the US? – BBC
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