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'Hate harms, hate kills': Battle Creek police chief, others respond to Buffalo supermarket shooting

Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker.png
Posted at 1:00 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 16:22:49-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker, among others, issued a statement on social media Monday in response to the Buffalo supermarket shooting.

He calls the shooting a “horrific incident,” one he notes was one of three mass shootings in the span of only 24 hours.

“I’m struck by the level of hate, by the level of open and available social media use by this now hateful and radical man, and barely an adult,” writes Chief Blocker. “Hate harms, hate kills, and it leaves long-lasting scars.”

Chief Blocker concludes his statement by expressing his sympathies for the families affected by the shooting. He encourages those who witness or suspect “radical actions or hate” in person or online to call 911 Silent Observer at 269-964-3888.

The statement from Chief Blocker reads:

"Dear neighbors:

"As the facts and details emerge from the horrific incident that occurred in Buffalo Saturday afternoon, I’m struck by the level of hate, by the level of open and available social media use by this now hateful and radical man, and barely an adult. Hate harms, hate kills, and it leaves long-lasting scars.

"Sadly, the profound shock of this act, in a grocery store where people were going about their busy lives, is one that I feel many of our fellow Americans feel often. Three more mass shooting events occurred, just in the last 24 hours.

"Hate and radicalism have no place in our community. They must be called out and stopped. The building blocks for a shared understanding and deeper relationships are strong opinions, critical thinking, thoughtfulness, and most of all grace. Let us all focus our energy and drive there, so we can continue to rise above such hate.

"I, and all of us at BCPD, stand with the families. I pray for their healing, and I hope for a better peace, that a stronger and more resilient community might emerge from this."

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) announced their solidarity with the Black community in Buffalo, adding there is still more work needed to end racism.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Buffalo Jewish Federation's full statement reads:

“Buffalo’s Jewish Community stands shoulder-to-shoulder linking arms with Buffalo’s Black Community as they deal with the aftermath of this weekend’s horrific shooting that took the lives of 10 people and injured 3 others at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue.

"The Talmud tells us that: “Whoever destroys a soul; it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5).

"Our hearts and prayers extend to the families and friends of the deceased and to the larger community that mourns with them. May their memories always be for a blessing.

"The Jewish community knows well the manifestation of white nationalism and collectively we are devastated that our friends and neighbors are experiencing this first-hand, yet again.

"The Jewish community is here and will continue to be there for our neighbors: Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein of Congregation Shir Shalom and dozens of Jewish community members attended a Prayer Vigil outside the crime scene Sunday morning; Temple Beth Zion’s Rabbi Sharon Sobel spoke at an Interfaith service at the Macedonia Baptist Church later in the day; the Jewish Family Services of WNY, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo and congregations from every denomination have released statements expressing outrage and offering support.

"While the Buffalo community is strong and relationships between Blacks and whites have been nurtured, much work has to be done together to address issues of systemic racism. As part of a faith community, we know that this hate crime cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

"In a blink of an eye, life changed in the City of Good Neighbors. We are incredibly grateful to leaders like Bishop Darius Pridgen (True Bethel), Rev. Mark Blue of NAACP Buffalo Branch and Rev. Denise Walden of Voice Buffalo. They and other Black leaders are providing a voice of calm and one of hope, even amid this horror. We lift up their leadership and to continue to follow their lead.

"These are the times we must pull together and support one another. In Hebrew, we say – “Hineni” - We are here!” One of the critical areas of need is food insecurity as the Tops Market was the only large grocery in the area and it is currently closed indefinitely. Click this link below to donate fresh and non-perishable food items and other supports.”

Most Rev. David J. Walkowiak with the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids responded to the recent string of mass shootings, calling acts of racism sins and as demonstrations of a lack of understanding for what Christ intended.

Most Reverend Walkowiak's full statement reads:

RELATED: Shoppers, guard among 10 dead in Buffalo supermarket attack

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