Hochul Calls for More Investigation Into 'Social Media' After Buffalo Attack

AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

Buffalo officials held a press conference on Sunday on the shooting at the Tops Market on Saturday.

The police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that there was no question that this was a racist hate crime that the shooter committed.

Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said he wouldn’t even mention the shooter’s name, calling him by his inmate number, “Inmate 157103,” and said that the “narrative should be” that they got him behind bars within five hours.

I think that wasn’t a use of the “narrative” as we often refer to it, but in response to anger from some in the community that the police should have shot the attacker. The police were asked why they didn’t shoot him, and they said because he gave up. The sheriff also praised the retired police officer, Aaron Salter, Jr, who confronted the shooter and shot him, but wasn’t able to take the shooter out because of his body armor. The shooter then killed Salter.

The FBI official hearing the federal investigation noted that the Buffalo police response saved a lot of lives, while taking on someone who had on body armor.

NY State Attorney General Letitia James called for people to tamp down anger and proceed in love. She also said they will be continuing to “investigate social media” and that her office would be focused on that, as they have been “the last few months.”

Governor Kathy Hochul picked up on that tack, as well, saying they needed to look more into “social media” and algorithms to identify “hate speech.” She said they were going to be sitting down with social media companies to see if they were doing everything they could to shut down hate speech. She termed the attack “white supremacy terrorism.”

Hochul then used the moment to call for more laws against guns, saying Congress hadn’t done enough, while attacking the Supreme Court, claiming that they wanted to “roll back” laws. Hochul also said that Al Sharpton had offered to help with financial assistance for the victims’ funerals.

Does Hochul know Sharpton’s history, that she’s highlighting him so?

While the shooter was not on the FBI’s radar, the Buffalo police commissioner confirmed that there had been a prior “generalized threat” at his high school (Susquehanna Valley Central) last June. As a result of the threat, the State Police brought him in for a mental health evaluation.

While most of the officials were dealing with the facts of the tragedy, Hochul seemed to want to use it to push her political agenda against guns, and then also make comments that can be concerning about social media cracking down on speech.

Now yes, you should be responding to threats that might be enunciated on social media and frequently, it feels like law enforcement has failed to respond in the past when attackers are making clear threats.

For example, in this case, there was a lot they could have seen beforehand. But there’s a difference between that and then having social media companies cracking down on speech that is not a direct threat.

We’ve already seen Democrats pushing troubling things like the Disinformation Governance Board. To Democrats, “hate speech” often seems to be applied to things that they don’t like or that go against their narrative. We already saw folks on the left using the shooting in Buffalo as a means to attack Tucker Carlson, because they want to try to shut down his show–not because he has anything to do with the incident–in a shameful political exercise to use such a tragedy.

Here’s the full press conference.