The lawyer who represented the family of George Floyd will represent the family of the slain Buffalo woman | Local News

The civil rights attorney who helped the family of George Floyd secure a $27 million wrongful death settlement is coming to Buffalo to represent the family of a woman murdered by the Tops Markets killer.

The civil rights attorney who helped the family of George Floyd secure a $27 million wrongful death settlement is coming to Buffalo to represent the family of a woman murdered by the Tops Markets killer.

Attorney Ben Crump of Washington, DC, will represent the family of Ruth Elizabeth Whitfield, 86, one of 10 people killed in Saturday’s massacre at a Jefferson Avenue supermarket.

“We are thoroughly investigating the shooting and the events leading up to it. These grieving families deserve to know how a white supremacist, so outspoken in his hatred, was able to commit a premeditated and targeted act of terrorism against black people – while armed with an assault rifle fitted with a high-capacity magazine,” Crump said in a statement released by his law firm on Sunday afternoon.

Holding a vigil Saturday night outside the Tops supermarket where his 86-year-old mother was one of 10 people murdered hours earlier, retired Buffalo Fire Marshal Garnell W. Whitfield found light and joy in the Life of Ruth Whitfield.

Crump’s co-lawyers will be Terrence M. Connors of Buffalo and Ken Abbarno, a Cleveland attorney who has worked with Crump on other civil rights cases.

“We are going to look at all aspects of this shooting and all the events along the way that could have prevented this tragedy from happening in our community,” Connors told The Buffalo News. “We are going to dig deep into the shooter, the gun, where he bought it, the illegal high capacity magazine that was attached to the gun and how it was obtained. We will also look at the digital media platforms that may have inspired or caused this shooting. »

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Several other families from the supermarket shooting incident have spoken to the same legal team about possible legal action, Connors said.

The killer accused in the Tops shooting – Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, near Binghamton – is a white supremist who posted a lengthy manifesto in which he said social media sites inspired his beliefs.

Crump has gained a national reputation for representing the families of black gunshot victims.

In the case of George Floyd, he won a $27 million settlement from the city of Minneapolis after Minneapolis police officers strangled Floyd to death in an incident in May 2020.

In his press release, Crump called the Buffalo Massacre “the deadliest mass shooting of 2022, perpetrated by a self-proclaimed white supremacist who set out to do one thing: kill black people.”

He said Ruth Whitfield, “a beloved wife, mother and grandmother, was her husband’s primary caretaker and had just returned from visiting him in a nursing home when this sick and depraved fellow brutally murdered her in the grocery store”.