Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul held a briefing to address the mass shooting that occurred in Buffalo.
VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor’s Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
Thank you Mayor Brown and all the elected officials and community leaders, clergy, and also our District Attorney who has a lot on his hands right now.
I want to thank the Buffalo Police Department for their exceptional work in handling this situation. And also I want to thank the New York State Police who have been embedded from the very beginning. The State Police role is supportive here locally, but also it is a prime role working with the FBI to secure the home of the individual, which is out of this region from the Southern Tier and amass as much evidence as humanly possible in the very near term.
It’s hard to know what to say. This is my community. I know this community well, I’ve walked these streets. I know the individuals who live here. It’s a wonderful tight knit neighborhood. And to see that sense of security shattered by an individual, a white supremacist who has engaged in an act of terrorism and will be prosecuted as such, in a cold hearted, cruel calculating way. A military style execution, targeting people who simply want to buy groceries in a neighborhood store.
It strikes us in our very hearts to know that there is such evil that lurks out there. Yes, I’m here to console the families in a community that is feeling so much pain right now. But mark my words we’ll be aggressive in our pursuit of anyone who subscribes to the ideals professed by other white supremacists and how there’s a feeding frenzy on social media platforms where hate festers more hate, that has to stop.
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. And we’re going to continue to work on this and make sure that those who provide these 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.
That’s what white supremacist terrorism is all about. That’s what we witnessed here today on the streets of Buffalo, New York. And it has to end right here. And that is our message. We will continue to work at the federal, state, and local level with our community partners to help identify these messages as soon as they arise on social media. That is our best defense right now, as well as the legal system and the prosecution. It is my sincere hope that this individual, this white supremacist, who just perpetrated a hate crime on an innocent community will spend the rest of his days behind bars. And heaven help him in the next world as well.
Yeah, I’m angry. I’ve seen violence from guns on the Brooklyn subway, and now in the streets of Buffalo, it has to stop. It has to stop. On Tuesday in Albany, we had already planned to be announcing a comprehensive gun package to address further loopholes that exist in our laws. We are doing everything we can to ensure that our laws are tight, they’re ironclad, to ensure that our law enforcement have the resources they need. That is why I started a gun interdiction task force last January. Nine states, as well as NYPD, have teamed up with us to make sure that we can identify when guns are coming across the border from places like Pennsylvania guns shows and ended up in small communities outside Binghamton or in Broome County. We don’t know that that is the source of the modifications made to a gun, but we’re going to find out and we’re going to continue addressing this every single way we can.
As an aside, we’re also going to be preparing our state for what could be a Supreme Court decision that allows people to carry concealed weapons. We’re ready. This is New York, we’re here to protect our people. Thank you.