(LEXINGTON, KY, 11/16/2018) – The Kentucky chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kentucky), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed federal hate crime charges brought against a white man accused of killing two African-American shoppers last month at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Ky.
SEE: Kentucky Kroger Shooting Suspect Charged with Federal Hate Crimes
Police say that minutes before the alleged gunman¸ Gregory Bush, 51, entered the grocery store, he tried to enter a predominantly African-American church. The shooter reportedly told an armed white civilian when leaving the Kroger that “whites don’t shoot whites.” On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Bush on hate crime and firearm charges.
“We welcome the hate crime charges in this case and hope the grand jury’s decision sends a strong message to all those who would target minority communities with violence,” said CAIR-Kentucky Chair Waheedah Muhammad. “At a time when bigotry is on the rise nationwide, it is important that we identify and condemn hate crimes and all other forms of bigotry.”
At the time of the shooting, CAIR called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to treat the attack as a hate crime.
SEE: CAIR-Kentucky Calls on Feds to Treat Kroger Killings as Hate Crime
Following the incident, Muhammad visited Sunday services at the church the suspect tried to enter, met with church pastor, Rev. Kevin Nelson, and offered words of support and solidarity from the Muslim community to the congregation.
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
SEE: CAIR 2018 Civil Rights Report: Targeted
The Washington-based civil rights organization has repeatedly expressed concern about white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies and appointments.
SEE: CAIR Condemns Nazi Salute and ”˜Heil Hitler, Heil Trump’ Shouts During Baltimore ”˜Fiddler on the Roof’ Performance
An FBI report released Tuesday reveals that the number of hate crimes in America increased by 17 percent in 2017, making this the third year in a row that hate crimes are on the rise across the nation.
SEE: FBI Report Shows 17 Percent Spike in Hate Crimes Nationwide in 2017 (CAIR)
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR-Kentucky Chair Waheedah Muhammad, 859-296-0206, email@example.com; CAIR-KY Board Member Jamil Farooqui, 859-358-5430