The VIPP Report: Kroger Shooting Suspect Charged with Federal Hate Crimes and Firearm Offenses

Official news release from the United States Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Gregory A. Bush, 51, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on hate crime and firearm charges arising out of the racially motivated murder of two African-American patrons at a Kroger grocery store, and the attempted murder of a third, on Oct. 24 in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. The indictment was announced by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman, and FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr.

Today’s indictment charges Bush with hate crimes for shooting and killing two victims because of their race and color; and for shooting at a third man because of his race and color. The indictment also charges Bush for using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to those crimes of violence. The indictment alleges that Bush committed the offenses after substantial planning and premeditation, that he killed more than one person in a single criminal episode, and that he knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene.

The maximum penalty for the charges in the indictment is life imprisonment or the death penalty.  The Justice Department will determine at a later date whether, in this particular case, it will seek the death penalty.

“The crimes alleged in this indictment are horrific,” Acting Attorney General Whitaker said. “We cannot and will not tolerate violence motivated by racism. We will bring the full force of the law against these and any other alleged hate crimes against fellow Americans of any race. And so I want to thank the FBI, Trial Attorney Christopher Perras, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory for all of their hard work that has made this indictment possible. Today we take one step closer to justice for the victims and their families and one step closer to helping this community try to heal.”

“There is no place for hate-fueled violence in our community or Commonwealth,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “Federal, state, and local law enforcement stand united to ensure that Kentuckians can shop, worship, or attend school without the specter of fear.”

“The tragic events of October 24, 2018, are a grim reminder of why the FBI prioritizes investigations of civil rights violations among the top of its criminal programs,” said FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr. “Today’s indictment should be a reminder to those who are motivated by hate and are intent on committing violence; your hateful ideology will not have the last word. The FBI, and the Department of Justice, will be there, and you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure justice for the victims, their families and the Louisville community throughout the investigation and prosecution of this alleged, hate-filled and violent crime,” stated Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Louisville Division. “Today, and every day, ATF’s ongoing priority is to reduce violent crime and secure the safety of our communities.”

An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case has been investigated by the FBI Louisville Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Louisville Field Division, and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christopher J. Perras of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky.

 

If you have a story idea, send it to The VIPP Report, thevippreport at vippcommunications dot com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport for real-time news.  

Victims in the Oct 24, 2018 shooting at Kroger in Jeffersontown, KY. Pictured below: Vickie Jones (on the left with her nephew) and in the second picture Maurice Stallard.

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The VIPP Report: Louisville, KY played an integral part in the success of journalist & civil rights leader Ida B. Wells

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THE TWO-WOMAN PLAY IS SET DURING THE TURN OF THE CENTURY BUT IRONICALLY RESEMBLES TODAY’S SOCIETUIAL ISSUES

(LOUISVILLE, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) in collaboration with Simmons College of Kentucky presents: Miss Ida B. Wells, a play by Endesha Ida Mae B. Wells and directed by Nefertiti Burton. There will be two performances on Sunday, October 22nd at the KCAAH located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The afternoon matinee begins at 3:30 p.m. and the evening show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Ida B. Wells was a civil rights pioneer and one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP), and journalist.  She was very influential because she had the gift of writing but she never received money for craft. That untold story brings you to Louisville. Rev. Dr. William J. Simmons, born a slave became the publisher of the American Baptist Newspaper, President of the National Press Association and the second president of the college we know today as Simmons College of Kentucky, a HBCU. Rev. Simmons paid Wells for her stories and made her a correspondent for the paper.  Wells went on to be known as the “Princess of the Press” and traveled to write for the American Baptist.

Tickets for Ida B. Wells are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. You can purchase at KCAAH or Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/miss-ida-b-wells-tickets-38476552404.

To setup an interview and/or short performance contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com. 

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The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage’s (KCAAH) mission is to enhance the public’s knowledge about the history, heritage and cultural contributions of African Americans in Kentucky. In addition to its commitment to preserving the traditions and accomplishments of the past, the Center is a vital, contemporary institution, providing space for cultural programs, exhibitions and performances of all types. KCAAH’s brand is “One More River to Cross,” a history examined through Kentucky stories about African American history from its African origins through the Freedom Struggle against slavery and Jim Crow laws, to the modern Civil and Human Rights Movements in the 20th century.

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The VIPP Report: Civil rights leader Julian Bonds dies at the age of 75

naacpphotoJulian Bond, a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, has died.  The Southern Poverty Law Center says in a statement that Bond died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness. The Nashville, TN native was considered an icon of the 1960s civil rights movement.

Bond is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz and five children.  Julian Bond was 75 years old.

The VIPP Report: 50th Anniversary March on Frankfort

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The VIPP Report:  March 5, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary on the “March on Frankfort” which was initially in support of equity in public accommodations.   We spoke to the last surviving organizer Sen. Georgia Davis Powers.   In 1967, Powers became the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate. She will be in attendance Wednesday and at the age of  80 will take the historic walk once again.  Powers says she will be speak right after the Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear in the program.

The rally will commemorate what Civil Rights leaders accomplished by urging Kentucky to pass a law that would help end segregation by making discrimination illegal in the area of public accommodations such as stores, restaurants, theatres, and hotels.  The march helped build support for the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 and helped result in the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966.

Local organizers will meet at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage and convoy to Frankfort, Kentucky.
The VIPP Report will take you up close to the place where Dr. Martin Luther King, baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson,  Sen. Georgia Davis Powers, Kentucky Civil Rights leaders and 10,000 marchers converged on the capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky in 1964 making the Bluegrass state the first south of the Mason-Dixon Line to have a state Civil Rights Act.

The march will begin at 10:00 a.m. People will gather at the corner of 2nd Street and Capital Avenue at 9:30 a.m. to line up in order to proceed to the State Capitol, 700 Capitol Ave.
Follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.  If you have photos you want to share send them to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com.