Minnesota 5th District Congressman Keith Ellison this week condemned the rise in hate crimes in the United States, including the Wednesday murder of Stephen T. John, a guard on duty at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the recent murder of physician Dr. George Tiller while he attend his Sunday church service.
“I join with millions of Americans to send my condolences to the loved ones of Stephen T. John, who was murdered on duty yesterday in the lobby of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. I commend the security officers for their quick response which undoubtedly saved more lives. While the facts are still coming in, I am appalled by reports that the gunman was motivated by racist views against Jews and African Americans,” Ellison said in a statement to the press.
“This is the third high-profile gun crime in the United States in recent weeks fueled by hatred and armed by lax gun laws. The assassination of Doctor George Tiller at his church in Kansas shocked us all about the dangers of extremists who use violence and terror to advance their causes. Then there was the heartbreaking story of the military recruiter randomly murdered in Little Rock by a man who said that he was angry about the killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of political views, violent acts of hatred like these are never justifiable,” Ellison said.
Noting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s recently issued warning about new signs of home grown terrorism, Ellison said, “I encourage law enforcement to continue its effort to focus on reasonable suspicion and not demographic factors like race, religion and other immutable considerations. They should instead do what’s prudent and reasonable — within the law — to protect the public by preventing these horrific acts of hatred from happening again.”