Pelosi says America has to balance free speech and security after mass shooting in Buffalo: ‘That freedom also carries public safety with it’

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) participates in a celebration of the passage of legislation that will place statues of former Supreme Court associate justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’ Connor in the US Capitol on May 12, 2022 in Washington, DC.

A gunman fatally shot 10 people at a Buffalo, New York supermarket on Saturday. 
Authorities found a racist manifesto and consider the attack motivated by racism.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the US needs to balance free speech and safety. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the US needs to balance between free speech and security following a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket. 

“America is a great country. Our freedom is so important to us, but that freedom also carries public safety with it, and we have to balance those,”  Pelosi said during an interview with  ABC’s “This Week.”

On Saturday, 10 people were fatally shot when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire on customers and employees at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York. 

Officials said the suspected gunman, Payton Gendron, drove more than three hours to the grocery store that’s in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

Police believe the shooting was motivated by racism and are investigating a racist manifesto that offers insight into Gendron’s motives. 

Pelosi on Sunday said everyone has to stay vigilant about threats. 

“There has to be vigilance,” Pelosi said. “People have to alert other authorities if they think that someone is on a path to domestic terrorism, to violence of any kind.”

Earlier on Sunday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called on social media companies to mitigate online racist conspiracy theories like those espoused by the alleged gunman. 

“This is spreading like wildfire,” Hochul told CNN’s “State of the Union” host Dana Bash.

John Cohen, a former head of counterterrorism at DHS, also told ABC ‘This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos that the gunman’s anger was fueled by extremist content found online and there needs to be more to limit its spread. 

“This is the threat,” he said. “Individuals who are spending a lot of time online, they’re viewing content that’s being placed there by foreign intelligence services, foreign terrorist organizations, domestic violence extremist thought leaders. They use that content as a way to validate their use of violence and they’re going out and they’re committing mass murder.”

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Politics, Buffalo shooting, Nancy Pelosi

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