The Dayton NAACP president on Sunday said his group is monitoring the mass shooting investigation to make sure it is not a hate crime and wants sensible gun laws enacted.
The shooting suspect has been identified as Connor Betts, 24, of Bellbrook.
Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton Unit NAACP, met with members of the media at NAACP’s headquarters on Third Street on Sunday afternoon to discuss how the civil rights organization is dealing with the mass shooting.
“We have an issue in America, and we need to ensure we deal with that at face value,” Foward said. “We as an organization at this point and time are not saying that we have come to an conclusion that this is an absolute hate crime, but it has all of the indicators that it could be.”
He added, “We are deeply saddened to learn that the shooter was allegedly Caucasian and many of the victims were African-American. We will be monitoring this case very closely to determine if this incident was a hate crime.”
Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said officers have no indication at this time that the shooting was racially motivated.
Foward praised Dayton police officers for their quick response.
“We commend the Dayton Police Department and other first responders for taking quick and decisive action to engage the shooter,” he said. “Let’s love one another and continue to be Dayton Strong.”
Foward said it is imperative that government officials at the local, state and national level become involved in finding a solution to gun violence.
“This is another sad day in our nation when we see once again assault weapons being used on everyday citizens,” Foward said. “Congress needs to act and act now to swiftly pass sensible gun legislation that will ban these assault weapons. Whether or not this individual was mentally ill or if this was a hate crime, the assault weapon shouldn’t be in the hands of an average citizen.”
The NAACP is hoping that politicians will promote sensible gun laws that the organization feels will help curb gun violence, he said.
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