Transcript: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown on “Face the Nation,” May 15, 2022

The following is the full transcript of an interview with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown airing Sunday, May 15, 2022, on “Face the Nation.”


MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown. Good morning to you, Mr. Mayor, and our- our thoughts, our condolences are with you and your community. How are you all handling this?

MAYOR BYRON BROWN: Thank you, Margaret. It is obviously very painful, very raw, very fresh. We’re wrapping our arms around the families of those whose lives were lost. We’re standing strong as a community and working to not let this horrible act of hate detract from us being a loving, warm, welcoming community. Buffalo is known as the city of good neighbors, nationally and internationally. And so we will wrap our arms around each other. We will deal with the pain that we are feeling, and we will get through this together as a community.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The shooter was allegedly motivated by white supremacist ideology. I know that you are the first African-American mayor of Buffalo, which as a city has been called very segregated, if not one of the most in the country. How do you all unite in the wake of something like this?

MAYOR BROWN: Well, Buffalo is a resilient community. This community has been through a lot. Prior to the pandemic, Buffalo has been going through a renaissance. We’re a mid-size American city of over 278,000 people. And this part of the city, 80% African-American but diverse with people of many different backgrounds living in this community, we are certainly saddened that someone drove from hundreds of miles away, someone not from this community that did not know this community that came here to take as many Black lives as possible, who did this in a willful, premeditated fashion, planning this. But we are a strong community and we will keep moving forward. This is a community that is experiencing development. People have been hoping and waiting for investment and growth and opportunity. We are beginning to see that in this community, in all parts of the city, and we won’t let that progress stop. We won’t let hateful ideology stop the progress that we are seeing and experiencing in the city of Buffalo.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you concerned about a broader security threat that might be ongoing to your community? Do you need any federal resources at this time?

MAYOR BROWN: Well, certainly we would love federal resources. We have heard from the White House. The secretary of homeland security did call me yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called me yesterday. So we certainly would like additional federal resources for the city of Buffalo. We have an incredibly strong law enforcement partnership in Buffalo, Erie County and western New York. Law enforcement has been working together since this incident around the clock at the federal, state, Erie County and city of Buffalo level. They are going through every element, every detail in this shooter’s background to piece together why this happened, how this happened, and the reason that this person came to the city of Buffalo to perpetrate this horrific crime.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is there an ongoing threat? Are your residents safe today?

MAYOR BROWN: I think the question that we need to ask ourselves: are any residents safe in this country anywhere? We have to focus on sensible gun control. That said, after all of these mass shootings that have taken place in this country for different reasons, year in and year out, month in and month out, week in and week out, let Buffalo, New York, be the last place that this kind of mass shooting happens.So we have to put more pressure on lawmakers in Washington, those that have been obstructionists, to sensible gun control, to reforming the way guns are allowed to proliferate and fall into the wrong hands in this country. So – whether it is urban, suburban, rural, no community seemingly is safe from these mass shootings. It’s not just Buffalo, New York. It’s communities in every corner of this country that are unsafe with guns and with the hateful ideology that has been allowed to proliferate on social media and the Internet. That has to be reined in. That has to be stopped. It’s not free speech. It’s not American speech. It’s hate speech. And it must be ended.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr. Mayor, good luck to you and thank you for your time today.

MAYOR BROWN: Thank you very much, Margaret.

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