Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has deleted a tweet falsely blaming a shooting in New Jersey this week on “white supremacy,” following the revelation that the shooters are linked to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.
The congresswoman posted the since-deleted tweet on Dec. 12, sharing an image of one of the multiple victims of the Tuesday Jersey City shooting, 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, an Orthodox Jew, along with the caption: “This is heartbreaking. White supremacy kills.”
David Anderson 47, and a partner, 50-year-old Francine Graham, allegedly opened fire at a kosher supermarket, and, according to authorities, they specifically targeted the store. The shooting left six people dead—the two suspects, and four victims, which included a police officer.
New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal named the victims as Det. Joseph Seals, 40, a father of 5 and a 15-year police veteran. He was the first to be killed in Bay View Cemetery, Grewal said.
Anderson and Graham then drove to the Kosher supermarket where Grewal said Moshe Deutsch, 24, a student and customer in the supermarket, and Leah Mindel Ferencz, 32, who owned the Kosher supermarket with her husband, were killed. Also killed was Miguel Jason Rodriguez, 49, an employee at the kosher supermarket who was identified by pastor Williams Machazek according to the Huffington Post.
Tlaib appeared to delete the tweet almost immediately after, and posted about the fatal shooting inside the JC Kosher Supermarket without referring to “white supremacy.”
“It was beyond heartbreaking to learn of what appears to be another anti-Semitic act of violence. The hate growing in our country is toxic,” Tlaib tweeted.
“We must do so much more to fight it and stem the tide of gun violence. My love goes out to the victims, the first responders, their families, and the community of #JerseyCity.”
We must do so much more to fight it and stem the tide of gun violence. My love goes out to the victims, the first responders, their families, and the community of #JerseyCity.
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) December 11, 2019
Tlaib posted her tweet as a link was established between Anderson, the alleged gunman, and the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. Members of the group were last thrust into the spotlight this year when they shouted vulgarities at high school students from Covington Catholic.
Suspects Linked To Black Hebrew Israelites
Law enforcement sources told NBC that Anderson was a one-time member of the Black Hebrew Israelites. A law enforcement official told The New York Times that Anderson was linked to the movement but that the extent of his involvement remained unclear.
Members of the group were part of the imbroglio at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in January. Members of the group shouted at the students, calling them expletives and slurs and taunting “an African-American student from my school by telling him that we would ‘harvest his organs,’” Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann said in a statement. Portions of the interaction were captured on video.
The brother of the second shooter, Graham, told The New York Times that he wasn’t aware of any links between her and the Black Hebrew Israelites.
Officials have said the shooting was a “targeted” attack, and that at least one of the suspects had posted anti-Semitic and anti-police material online before the attack.
Mayor Steven Fulop said while investigators were working to figure out a motive behind the attack, they do “feel comfortable that it was a targeted attack on the Jewish kosher deli across the street here,” reported Fox News.
Describing surveillance footage, Fulop said: “We can see the van moving through Jersey City streets slowly, the perpetrator stopped in front of there, calmly opened the door with two long rifles, him and the other perpetrator, and began firing from the street into the facility.”
“I didn’t use the word anti-Semitic. Anything else is open for investigation,” the mayor added.
De Blasio described the attack as “a premeditated, violent, anti-Semitic hate crime…an act of terror.”
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.