BUFFALO, N.Y. ( Associated Press) — Mourners bid farewell to the last of 10 black people killed in a racist attack at a Buffalo supermarket, at a funeral that became a call to action and in an emotional plea to end the hatred and violence that has rocked the nation.
The service for Ruth Whitfield, 86, the oldest of the 10 people killed in the attack two weeks ago, included an unexpected speech by US Vice President Kamala Harris.
Harris attended the service at Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Buffalo accompanied by Doug Emhoff, her husband and America’s second gentleman.
Addressing mourners, Harris said this is a time for “all good people” to stand up to the injustice that occurred at Tops Friendly Supermarket on May 14, as well as at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. and in other mass shootings.
“This is a moment that requires all the good people, all the people who love God to stand up and say that we will not tolerate this. Enough is enough,” said Harris, who was not scheduled for a speech and took the microphone at the request of the Rev. Al Sharpton.
“We will come together based on what we all know we have in common, and we will not let those people who are motivated by hate drive us apart or make us afraid.”
After the funeral, Harris and Emhoff visited a memorial outside the supermarket.
The vice president placed a large bouquet of white flowers and the couple stopped to pray for several minutes.
In the same place, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden laid flowers on May 17 and visited the families of the victims. Biden is scheduled to go to Texas this weekend to visit the families of the victims of Tuesday’s shooting.
Harris later told reporters that the administration is not “sitting around waiting to figure out what the solution is” to the problem of gun violence in the country.
“We know what works,” he said, reiterating his support for background checks and a ban on assault weapons.
“Let’s ban assault weapons,” he said. “An assault weapon is a weapon of war that has no place in civil society.” Background check: Why should someone be able to buy a gun that can kill other human beings without at least knowing: Hey, has that person committed a violent crime before, is he a threat to himself or others?