Things That Matter

El Paso Needs Blood Donors After Another White Mass Shooter Kills 19 Walmart Shoppers

Miguel Rodriguez was simply shopping for a toy at Walmart when he heard gunshots and dropped to the ground to cover his 7-year-old son. Karina was routinely pulling into the mall parking lot with her daughter when they witnessed the shooter, dressed in black, shoot a man at “point-blank” range and enter the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, the scene of America’s latest mass shooting.

Law enforcement agencies have identified the suspect as Patrick Crusius, who allegedly wrote a manifesto that detailed why he is “against race mixing,” supports Trump’s idea to “send them back” and predicts “genocide” in America’s future.

El Paso’s Police Department is urgently calling for the community to donate blood.

@CNNBRK / Twitter

In a tweet, @EPPOLICE announced minutes ago, “Blood needed urgently. Multiple injured transported to various hospitals. Blood donation centers Vitalent Blood Services at 424 s Mesa Hills and 133 N Zaragoza.”

If you live in the area, please consider donating blood.

At last 19 people are dead and 40 injured.

@GregHolmanNL / Twitter

Local police, FBI and S.W.A.T. were deployed to the scene where they were able to safely take the shooter into custody. Stories from the scene are harrowing. One Walmart employee recalls the moment she realized the “pops” weren’t boxes being dropped. “…That’s when I looked at my coworker, and we looked at each other like shocked and scared,” she told NBC News.

“I got all the people that I could, I even found a little girl that was missing from her parents, and I got her, too. I tried to get as many people as I could out.”

El Paso Police warned the public to stay away from Cielo Vista Mall, causing a panic in the community.

@EPPoLICE / Twitter

Cielo Vista Mall is a large complex, which includes a movie theater, a bus terminal, a Sam’s Club store and many more businesses. It’s a hub for the border community. The mall was on lockdown in response to the neighboring Walmart shooting, but the property owner confirms that no shots were fired in the mall itself.

Warning: the following images are graphic.

Patrick Crusius’ Twitter account confirms that he is a Trump supporter who advocated for the border wall.

@_KarateChris / Twitter

Images of Crusius carrying a rifle from Walmart security cameras have been released. His Twitter handle is @outsider609, and of the account’s 22 tweets, the vast majority are in support for Trump’s agenda.

Crusius tweeted, “#BuildTheWall is the best way that @POTUS has worked to secure our country so far!” in January 2017.

Crusius’ social media accounts have been deleted while authorities review for motive.

@CZylegs51340 / Twitter

He turned 21 years old this week. “Another right wing extremist motivated by xenophobia,” tweets @WheresMyArk_23. If this is the case, this will be the second white supremacist motivated mass shooting in two weeks.

The alleged manifesto has not been confirmed to be of Crusius’ writing just yet.

GRAPHIC: Survivors are sharing videos and photos of their experience online.

@GageGoulding / Twitter

Police have not released any information about Crusius’ motive for the attack. All we know is that he lived in a border community and his online personality advocated for building a wall that would keep Mexicans out.

Walmart expressed “shock,” but America is past shock.

@WALMART / Twitter

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, and has often been referred to as the world’s largest gun retailer. Over the years, as shootings continue to escalate, Walmart has self-regulated by discontinuing the sales of handguns, and eliminating all weapons sales in two thirds of its stores. It continues to sell rifles.

President Trump tweeted about the “terrible” shooting and 14 minutes later wished a wrestling champion luck.

@ERICKFERNANDEZ / Twitter

Americans are expressing frustration with seeing even the President of the United States move on from the news. #GunReformNow is trending for the second time this week as the public continues to demand action from Congress.

Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott is currently under fire for his close relationship with the National Rifle Association.

@BJOEWOLF / Twitter

The NRA “grades” politicians’ policies on gun rights. The more guns and looser restrictions, the higher the grade. Greg Abbott has an A+ rating from the NRA.

Latinos are dying. Americans are dying.

@MINKOKOTWEETS / Twitter

Shaun King reported that, “Did you know that the United States is the ONLY nation in the world that has more guns than people? We have 122 guns for every 100 people. No other nation has 100. Or 90. Or 80. Or 70. Or 60 guns per 100 people. In fact, only 1 other nation has more than 40. War-torn YEMEN.

Are we safe yet? Mitú will continue to report as this story develops.

One Year Later, The Latino Community Remembers The El Paso Shooting

Things That Matter

One Year Later, The Latino Community Remembers The El Paso Shooting

Mario Tama / Getty Images

On August 3, 2019, a man entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and killed 23 customers and injured 23 more. The shooter, Patrick Crusius, went to the Walmart with the expressed purpose of killing Mexican and Mexican-Americans. One year later, the community is remembering those lost.

One year ago today, a man killed 23 people in an El Paso Walmart targeting our community.

The Latino community was stunned when Patrick Crusius opened fire and killed 23 people in El Paso, Texas. The gunman wrote a manifesto and included his desire to kill as many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans he could in the El Paso Walmart. The days after were filled with grieving the loss of 23 people and trying to understand how this kind of hate could exist in our society.

Representative Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, is honoring the victims today.

Rep. Escobar was on the scene shortly after the shooting to be there for her community. The shooting was a reminder of the dangers of the anti-Latino and xenophobic rhetoric that the Trump administration was pushing for years.

“One year ago, our community and the nation were shocked and heartbroken by the horrific act of domestic terrorism fueled by racism and xenophobia that killed 23 beautiful souls, injured 22, and devasted all of us,” Rep. Escobar said in a statement. “Today will be painful for El Pasoans, especially for the survivors and the loved ones of those who were killed, but as we grieve and heal together apart, we must continue to face hate with love and confront xenophobia by treating the stranger with dignity and hospitality.”

El Pasoans are coming together today to remember the victims of the violence that day.

Latinos are a growing demographic that will soon eclipse the white communities in several states. Some experts in demographic shifts understand that this could be a terrifying sign for the white population. These changing demographics give life to racist and hateful ideologies.

“When you have a few people of color, the community is not seen so much as a threat,” Maria Cristina Morales, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso, told USA Today about the fear of changing demographics. “But the more that the population grows – the population of Latinos grow for instance – the more fear that there’s going to be a loss of power.”

The international attack is still felt today because of the constant examples of white supremacy still active today.

“It doesn’t occur to you that there’s a war going on, and there’s always been a war going on—the helicopters the barbed wire—but you just kind of didn’t see it,” David Dorado Romo, an El Paso historian who lost a friend in the shooting, told Time Magazine.

The sudden reminder of the hate out there towards the Latino community was felt nationwide that day. The violent attack that was planned out revealed the true cost of that hate that has been pushed by some politicians.

“El Paso families have the right to live free from fear, and I will continue to honor the victims and survivors with action,” Rep. Escobar said in her statement. “Fighting to end the gun violence and hate epidemics that plague our nation.”

READ: As El Paso Grieves Their Loss, Here Is Everything We Know About The Victims Of The El Paso Massacre, Which Were Mostly Latino

ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

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ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

Gregory Bull / Getty Images

By mid-October, there could be professionally trained armies of ordinary citizens patrolling the streets looking to arrest immigrants. And they’d be doing the dirty work of ICE – which has launched a program in Chicago specifically to help train and equip the public on the skills and knowledge needed to do it effectively.

According to ICE, the program is little more than a chance to educate and enlighten the public on the challenges the agency faces on a daily basis. They claim that their work is grossly misunderstood. Yet the description of the six-week-long program literally describes familiarizing recruits with firearms and how to make targeted arrests.

Chicago’s ICE office announced a “citizen’s academy” to teach the public on how to arrest immigrants.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is launching a class for private citizens in Chicago on how to arrest undocumented immigrants.

The course, which begins on September 15 and will run one class a week for six weeks, will train non-agents in firearms, defensive training and how to make ‘targeted arrests.’ ICE plan to roll out the program to cities across the country.

The Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy is a six-week program modeled after similar trainings held by other law enforcement agencies. ICE will select 10 to 12 participants for the training, which is set to start in September.

Many Chicagoans have received letters inviting them to apply. During the program, according to the letter, “participants will gain insight into the many facets and responsibilities of ICE/ERO operations, and hopefully an awareness and appreciation of the issues our officers face every day in the performance of their duties.”

But immigration activists aren’t buying the story ICE wants to tell.

Several of Chicago’s elected officials have come out strongly against the program, saying there is no room for this academy in the city of Chicago.

“I think it’s outrageous that they are trying to do this in Chicago. This is a sanctuary city that we’ve fought so hard for,” said Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez, in an interview with Fox 11.

Rodriguez read the letter and said she was concerned about the language in the letter, which reads, in part, “attendees will participate in scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.”

“What it sounds like to me is a vigilante academy,” Rodriguez said. “We need to be educating the community so that they don’t sign up for it. I think the city needs to speak out against this programming. This isn’t welcomed in Chicago.”

Congressman Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, wonders if the course is part of ICE’s plan to have neighbors spy on others to see if they’re undocumented and report back to the agency.

Although the program is outrageous, it’s been taking place in Los Angeles for years.

The program was just announced in Chicago last week but it has been in operation for several years in other cities across the country. In fact, Los Angeles – another sanctuary city – has had a similar academy in place since 2016. However, unlike Chicago’s program which will be run by the ERO, LA’s program is managed by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division.

Regardless of who is running the program, many are rightfully worried about its implications. Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, said in a statement, “ICE is recruiting an army of ‘citizens’ to fuel its propaganda machine and forge hatred in our communities. The outcome of this program will be more terror unleashed upon immigrant communities and people of color.”