NewsLocal News

Actions

Families of Tops mass shooting victims planning trip to the White House

This was their one request of the Vice President
Douglas, Pritchett and Spight with the Vice President and Second Gentlemen
TOPS SHOOTING.jpg
Posted at 4:30 PM, May 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-29 15:33:27-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Seven out of the 10 families of the victims of the Tops mass shooting met with Vice President Kamala Harris Saturday afternoon. They expressed gratitude that Vice President Harris came to Buffalo to pay her respects, but it was most important she heard their requests.

"Showing up is half the battle, but beyond showing up we really kind of challenged her to make action happen," said Michelle Spight, cousin of Margus Morrison and niece of Pearl Young.

Their biggest ask was to continue the conversation in Washington, D.C. at the White House. They tell 7 News the Vice President obliged and will be working with families to plan a trip.

They spent about 15 minutes with with Vice President Harris, which they say was a great chance to hear from her and ask questions, but not enough time to get all the answers they need.

Douglas, Pritchett and Spight with the Vice President and Second Gentlemen
Douglas, Pritchett and Spight with the Vice President and Second Gentlemen

"To have to go to the funeral director and for them to call me and say we need a hat for your mother because of the damage that happened to my mom...I want to be able to tell that to congress," said Pamela Pritchett, Pearl Young's daughter.

One of the things they're looking for is an anti-Black hate crime bill to be passed. but the sticking point for these families was to ensure there is true action coming out of Washington, D.C.

"I'm tired of the names getting added to this shirt. I'm tired of the names. I need the actions," said Dominique Douglas, a relative of Margus Morrison, wearing a t-shirt filled with names of Black lives lost to violence including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Douglas' shirt bearing dozens of names of those killed and the word '
Douglas' shirt bearing dozens of names of those killed and the word 'justice'

The hope is that giving these family members a seat at the table with lawmakers and decision makers will lead to a more impactful and effective plan.

Families are still waiting for the details on when and how this trip will happen, but they've made contact with the Vice President's team.