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BLM activist Quintez Brown has been charged in the targeted shooting of mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday, but the Las Vegas Sun suggested that the incident is tied to right-wing extremism.
Although the suspect has advocated for socialist and communist ideals, and has criticized “gun-loving” Republicans in his writing as a former editorial columnist for the Louisville Courier Journal, the Sun was adamant that a history of violent rhetoric from politicians on the right, including President Trump, was enough motivation for the shooting.
“We’ve all heard this with our own ears: Trump drawing cheers at rallies by suggesting violence his opponents, GOP lawmakers and candidates trying to whip their followers into a frenzy with talk of taking up arms against so-called forms of ‘tyranny’ like mask mandates,” the editorial reads.
“American leaders across the board must start speaking out, especially those in the GOP,” they added. “This violent rhetoric is an uncaged monster threatening to harm not only elected officials but others who serve the public — scientists, public health officials, election workers, and many more.”
The Sun drew its inspiration from a New York Times article which documented the trend of an alleged rise in threats against politicians from “extremist Republicans,” noting more than 75 related indictments since 2016.
Critics of the Sun’s take expressed outrage on Twitter. Sen. Ted Cruz’s, R-Texas special adviser for communications Steve Guest called it “brazen disinformation.”
“Holy f***, @LasVegasSun,” RealClearPolitics co-founder Tom Bevan tweeted. “This editorial was written after the alleged shooter, Quintez Brown, was identified as a left-wing BLM activist.”
CNN contributor and journalist Mary Katharine Ham could not contain her disbelief.
Brown had intentions of running to represent District 5 for Louisville’s Metro Council in 2022, according to a campaign video he shared to his Twitter account in December. Independent journalist Andy Ngo uncovered that the activist had also been recognized by the Obama foundation for his youth violence prevention efforts.
In addition, Brown joined MSNBC anchor Joy Reid during a March for Our Lives event in March 2018 to promote gun reform. The then-high school student verbalized how gun violence effects not only schools, but whole communities.
“I feel like I’m always in a warzone,” he said.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.