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commUNITY spotlight: Lester Holt in Buffalo

While covering the mass shooting in Buffalo, we had a chat with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt has covered the big stories across the nation and world.

In May, he was in Buffalo covering the mass shooting at Tops Market on Jefferson. 13 people were shot, 10 died and police arrested a self-proclaimed white supremacist who targeted Black people.

Channel 2's Claudine Ewing caught up with Holt for a brief, candid interview about news events and race in America.

Covering a mass shooting is not new for Holt, but each one is different. 

In Buffalo, he was able to identify the essence of what triggered the killings and why the community is so disheartened. 

"What I think I've captured and I have covered a lot of these, is there seems to be a special sense of being selected, singled out. The fact that this person not only apparently had a detailed plan of action, but that this city, this corner, this market was identified as that place," he said, recognizing that people are still trying to wrap their heads around what happened.

The fact that the area where the shooting happened is a food desert was part of the conversation.

"We've done a lot of reporting on food deserts, but in the context of a mass shooting, it's a different kind of way to look at it, but a number of people I talked to who lost people certainly are distraught by what happened here. They talk about how important this grocery store was to the community, said Holt.  

The crime also made people of color, and Black people in the media take a moment to think about what happened and racism.

Holt said "no matter what your stature in life is, there are people who are going to judge you solely on the color of your skin and you know racism, it's not new to this country, this community, anywhere, but sometimes it can be a slap in the face and remind you this exists." Referring to the person in custody for the multiple killings in Buffalo, Holt said "this person studied this. This person you know, twisted and found some logic in poisonous you know conspiracy theories."

Credit: Paul Hare

"It's not lost on any of us, and again, no matter where you are in life, what you're doing, people only see you through that one lens."


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