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Pittsburgh synagogue massacre unites New Yorkers against hate

"We will create a society of decency and respect no matter what it takes," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at Bethel Gospel Assembly in East Harlem on Sunday.

New Yorkers joined the nation in mourning the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting while fiercely pledging to fight hate and intolerance in the city and around the world.

“We will create a society of decency and respect no matter what it takes,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told members of the Bethel Gospel Assembly in East Harlem Sunday morning — the first of several public events of the day that addressing the attack that left 11 people dead and six injured.

De Blasio said the shooting was not reflective of the true values of the country and New York City.

“That’s not America to me. That’s not what we believe in. That’s not what we accept,” he told a packed auditorium.

De Blasio was expected to join Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Commission of Religious Leaders at Temple Emanu-El later in the afternoon.

While the NYPD cautioned there was no credible threat to New York City, the department deployed heavy weapons teams, including the Critical Response Command and the Strategic Response Group, police said on Sunday morning.

Law enforcement officials said a heavily-armed man named Robert Bowers entered Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning and killed 11 as he spewed anti-Semitic statements.

Bowers, 46, was taken into custody after being wounded by police but left a horrific scene of carnage behind.

Most of the victims were elderly, ranging in age from 54 to 97. The deceased included a husband and wife and two brothers. The six injured included four police officers.

"These officers who are equipped with heavy weapons have been deployed to locations throughout the city," NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said on Saturday. "In addition, NYPD officers in every precinct throughout the city are visiting sensitive locations to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers. Thousands of officers, many of them active-shooter trained, are vigilant and patrolling our city."

Bowers was charged with 29 federal counts, including 11 counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He was also charged with 36 counts by the Allegheny County District Attorney, including 11 counts of criminal homicide and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.

While visiting two Harlem churches, De Blasio urged the attendees to go vote in November — “vote as a statement,” he said, to fight the “hatred amid us.”


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