RNA - “Not only did El Paso bear the brunt of this hatred and this racism perpetrated not just by white nationalists and terrorists and Klansmen and neo-Nazis but by the very president of the United States of America himself,” said former US congressman Beto O’Rouke on Saturday as he addressed more than 100 protesters that marched to El Paso’s courthouse, across the street from the jail holding the shooter of last week’s carnage.
According to a police affidavit released on Friday, the gunman in the rampage – identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius – killed the 22 mostly Hispanic victims and injured scores of others when he opened fire at a Walmart store last Saturday and later confessed after surrendering to police that he was in fact targeting “Mexican.”
“The defendant stated his target (was) Mexicans,” said the police affidavit prepared following the gunman’s arrest.
US law enforcement agencies further revealed that just prior to the mass shooting, Crusius had posted a manifesto online that was rife with anti-immigrant hatred, explaining his motivation and decrying a “Hispanic invasion” of the United States.
“This community also holds the example and the solution to a country that has never been more divided than it is right now,” O’Rourke further underlined during his speech before the El Paso protest rally. “This has been the epicenter of the civil rights movement in the state of Texas.”
The current presidential hopeful has also emphasized that the country’s Republican President Donald Trump shares some blame for the El Paso carnage, arguing that Trump has persistently fueled racial divisions across the US with his harsh rhetoric and policies in efforts to curtail the flow of immigrants into the United States.
According to Press TV, the Saturday’s rally in El Paso – dubbed “March for a United America” -- was organized by Washington-based League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s oldest Hispanic civil rights group.
Also addressing the crowd taking part in the rally was Jessica Coca Garcia, who was shot in the legs last Saturday and whose husband was also injured in the Walmart massacred, as she struggled to rise from a wheelchair to speak.
“Racism is something I always wanted to think didn’t exist,” she said. “Obviously it does.”
Meanwhile, Trump on Wednesday mocked Democratic Party’s renewed campaign against US gun laws, writing in a Twitter post: “The Dems new weapon is actually their old weapon, one which they never cease to use when they are down, or run out of facts, RACISM!”
Since the shooting, and a second mass shooting on Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, Trump has signaled support for intensifying background checks for firearms purchases.