Experts attribute the rise to a number of factors, including the pandemic and the recent presidential election. Researchers note that grocery stores are one of the few places where people have gathered in public in the last few years, while restaurants, schools and businesses have closed. They noted that this has contributed to the growth of grocery stores as a major venue for mass shootings.
“It’s one of the few places where people gather because they have to,” Levin said. “It was a necessity, even houses of worship could be adapted through Zoom.”
In addition to gathering people in grocery stores, researchers also noted that grocery store employees were often left in charge of enforcing mask mandates. This has contributed to violence in grocery stores, as many people who refuse to wear masks often resort to violence. Daily Kos reported several incidents filmed by a camera during which individuals by refusing to wear a mask, they not only attacked, but even killed those who asked them to do so.
“This is worrying, but there has been violence in the workplace because it has to do with the mask’s mandate,” Marc Perone, president of United Food and Commercial Workers, told NBC News. United Food and Commercial Workers is a union representing more than 1.3 million workers in food and retail.
“People wore masks decorated with symbols of hatred. “We have had violence against some of our members because they were trying to talk to people about mask mandates and trying to stay safe during the pandemic,” Perone added.
The data also shows that the number of hate crimes has increased since the 2016 elections, surpassing the previous peak after 9/11. It was found that many of the hate crimes across the country in 2016 were committed in the name of Donald Trump.
As Trump continued to use his fanatical language, more hate crimes occurred as misconceptions about different ethnicities and communities spread. According to STOP AAPI HATEthe leading organization documenting violence against The Asian-American community and Pacific Islanders, 1 in 10 hate incidents documented between 2020 and 2021, occurred in grocery stores.
“Incidents that happen in business are like incidents that happen on the streets,” he said. Russell Jung, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, told NBC News. “In both cases, people are using anti-Chinese rhetoric. So they say things like, “You’re the reason we have Covid-19. Go back to China, you… “
The report, describing the link between grocery stores and violence, follows a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, during which 13 people were shot; As a result, 10 died. The shooting sparked a conversation about gun control and law across the country, with many Americans urging Congress to take action.
The Buffalo shooter, a white man identified as Peyton Hendron was charged Wednesday with federal hate crimes and a federal gun crime. According to The Washington Posthis accusations make him fit for the death penalty.
A state grand jury accused Hendron 25 US points each two weeks ago, including domestic terrorism and murder as a hate crime. The charges include 10 charges of hate crimes leading to death, three charges of hate crimes involving bodily harm and attempted murder, 10 charges of using firearms to commit murder during and in retaliation for a violent crime, and three charges of using and firing firearms during and in response to a crime of violence.
Gendron had gone to the Tops Friendly Markets grocery store with the intention of killing blacks.
An 11-page criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court provides evidence that Hendron may have shot 11 black people for “their actual and alleged race and color.”
“He repeatedly targeted, shot and killed blacks,” prosecutors said. “Ballistic evidence found in Tops shows that the gunman fired approximately 60 shots during the attack.
He also notes that Gendron has joined the racist ideology, including the “great replacement theory.”
“Hate-filled acts of violence terrorize not only the victims but also entire communities,” Attorney General Merrick Garland told a news conference. “We will be relentless in our efforts to fight hate crimes, support the communities they terrorize and hold those who commit them accountable.