Last week (July 21), a complaint was filed in federal court against a man who threatened to kill Black people at Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Thirty-seven-year-old Joey George allegedly called the marketplace twice last week saying, “he would make the news if he shot and killed all of the Black people in the store,” CNN said Friday (July 22).
The May 14 deadly shooting at Tops claimed the lives of 10 Black people. As previously reported by REVOLT, a federal grand jury indicted Payton Gendron on 27 counts for that crime earlier this month. According to court records, George made his first call to the grocery store on Tuesday (July 19), asking how many Black people were there. The location only just reopened after being closed since the massacre. At the time, Former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield spoke about the tough decision. “I think there will be people who don’t want to go there and will never go there again. But convenience and necessity take over, and that store will be a viable part of that community,” he said to CNN.
Documents added that George used the name “Peter” during his calls to Tops. He reportedly told an employee he was “a really good shot and could pick off people from the parking lot.” Officials say he claimed to have weapons such as assault rifles. Prosecutors added that the caller “ranted about a ‘race war’ and said, ‘This is what happens in a blue state.'” Last week’s menacing phone calls weren’t the first time George has made such threats. He was also charged for a May 12 phone call to a restaurant in San Bruno, California where he said he’d shoot “any Black or Hispanic patrons if the restaurant did not close within twenty minutes.” George’s motive was allegedly to “attack Black people and strike fear into the Bay Area’s Black community.”
The 37-year-old is due in court on Friday (July 29) at 5 p.m. ET. He is being held at a federal detention center in SeaTac, Washington.