LULAC: Federal Hate Crime Charges Against El Paso Walmart Suspect Only The Beginning Of Justice And Healing
Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Stands In Solidarity With Community Scarred by Domestic Hate Attack
El Paso, TX - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today issued a statement following a federal grand jury in El Paso, Texas on Thursday returning a 90-count indictment against alleged shooter Patrick Wood Crusius that also included a federal hate crimes charge and firearm charges for the August 3, 2019 attack that claimed 22 lives and left 24 others wounded.
The shootings of unarmed civilians shopping at a Walmart were motivated by Crusius’ self-admitted hatred who said he intended to kill “Mexicans”. The massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States in 2019, the seventh deadliest since 1949, and the third deadliest in Texas history. Most of the people killed were either Mexican or Mexican-American. Crusius posted online just before the shooting that what he was about to do was because of “the Hispanic invasion of Texas” and “all the problems these invaders cause and will cause.”
Sindy Benavides, National Chief Executive Officer of LULAC, said the grand jury charges are only the start of a long road for the people of El Paso. “While a measure of justice has been granted for grieving loved ones and survivors, nothing can bring back the victims of this horrific event,” she said. “No number of ‘thoughts and prayers’ will reverse the experiences of this community, those of past shootings, and those who may be forced to combat struggles with white supremacy and gun violence in the future,” added Benavides.
Crusius is already facing a capital murder indictment handed down in Texas state court. He pleaded not guilty during his court appearance last October despite making public statements to police shortly after the shootings that he acted willfully and with intent to kill. Benavides says she has been in contact with LULAC staff and other longtime friends who live in El Paso and who are still grieving six months after the attack.
“The fabric of the city of El Paso has been forever altered,” says Benavides. “LULAC stands with its people in their resilience and determination to heal, while remembering and heeding the past. Gun violence of this vein must be cured through firm legislation that guarantees the safety and security of all Americans,” she added.
Rudy Rosales, LULAC Texas State Director, had the following statement:
“The news of the grand jury indictment represents a somber moment in the Latino community here in Texas. The lives that were lost in El Paso will never be forgotten. We want and demand justice for the families of the deceased and hurt, for the El Paso community, and for Latinos everywhere who now live in fear of their lives, said Rosales. “While we mourn we are still strong. We will not be victims, we will not be silent, we will be strong. El Paso strong and Texas strong!,” he concluded.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/