This past weekend, the violent rhetoric that President Donald Trump consistently spouts on the world stage turned into real physical violence when 21-year-old Patrick Crusius stormed an El Paso Walmart and killed 22 people, wounding many more. Now, according to a new report from the Associated Press, it’s come out that Crusius has already confessed to targeting Mexicans in his attack, which serves as a solid confirmation of what was already suspected thanks to an apparent manifesto that surfaced online from Crusius. In that document, the shooter decried (among other things) a supposed “Hispanic invasion” of Texas, and remember — Trump has repeatedly himself spoken about a supposed immigrant “invasion.” The death toll from Trump’s rhetoric has now gone up by 22.
According to the new report, Crusius confessed to targeting Mexicans without even much apparent prodding from authorities. According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by Detective Adrian Garcia, the attacker “waived his Miranda Rights and agreed to speak with detectives, telling them that he had driven to El Paso from the Dallas suburb of Allen — which is where he lived and is a more than 10-hour drive from El Paso — and that he was targeting Mexicans in the attack.”
That came after he gave himself up to police on the scene after having “emerged with his hands up from a vehicle that was stopped at an intersection” near the Walmart after the attack. In other words, the details make clear that Crusius was carrying out an act of premeditated, domestic terrorism targeting the Hispanic community.
In response to his atrocity, federal authorities have already raised the possibility of hate crime charges and he’s in the meantime already been charged with capital murder. Eight of the 22 people who he killed were Mexican citizens, and many others were Hispanic.
Trump himself has tried to use the El Paso community as a punching bag for his anti-immigrant rhetoric before. In a State of the Union address delivered before Congress, he blatantly falsely claimed that the city had been dangerous before they put up physical border barriers in the area. Numerous local leaders spoke out against the notion, pointing out that they were safe before the barrier and have been safe since. Like El Paso, most southern U.S. border counties have crime rates significantly lower than comparable inland jurisdictions. Trump’s still searching for evidence of the threat he lies that undocumented immigrant communities pose.
Given the opportunity to address issues with his lies in the wake of the El Paso shooting, Trump has failed. Asked on the White House lawn this past week whether he had any “regret” about using the exact same language as the El Paso attacker, he indicated he did not via launching into yet another diatribe about the supposed dangers of undocumented immigrants.
When visiting the sites of recent mass shootings over the past week, including Dayton, where nine people were killed, he made it all about himself. In El Paso, he was caught on camera bragging about the size of the crowd at a rally he held there earlier in the year, and after leaving Dayton, his team released a campaign-style video covering his time there making it seem like it was a campaign stop.
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