A former top FBI official has said that Lauren Boebert and Tucker Carlson should face “civil consequences” from the families of victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is facing possible murder and hate crime charges after they allegedly opened fire in the Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ nightclub, killing five and injuring many more.
Speaking on MSNBC, Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, said: “This toxic mix of hatred, plus clinging to assault weapons. It’s about instilling fear, and the correct response for the rest of us is to step up and push back.
“Strategically what appears to be happening is that they want to deny people safe haven and safe harbour, whether we’re talking about kids in school who don’t feel safe because of firearms, Black churches feel like they are going to get shot up at a Bible study, whether it’s synagogues or a gay club on a weekend night, there seems to be a concerted effort not only to instil fear, but also to deny safe places.”
Figliuzzi said he believes that investigators “know this was a bias crime”, and that hate crime charges will be brought.
After discussing increasing violence and hostility against LGBTQ+ people, and its links to political and media rhetoric, he continued: “If [the Colorado Springs shooter] is a consumer of the people we just rattled off, from Lauren Boebert to Tucker Carlson, let’s get it out at trial, let’s expose it for what it is, name it and shame it.”
Colorado representative Boebert and Fox News host Carlson spend much of their time peddling hateful disinformation about LGBTQ+ people, and often espouse “groomer” rhetoric, suggesting that queer identities are connected to paedophilia.
Within two days of the tragic Colorado Springs attack, Carlson was on air describing gender-affirming care as “child abuse”, and hosting Gays Against Groomers founder Jaimee Michell, who said that the “evil agenda” of this care was to blame for the mass shooting.
For her part, Lauren Boebert was met with furious backlash for posting a tribute to the Colorado Springs shooting victims after months of stirring up anti-LGBTQ+ hate.
Previously, Frank Figliuzzi explained why he believes hate crime charges should be brought against the shooter, even if they make no difference to the possible sentence.
Figliuzzi said prosecutors were dealing with what “looks right now, in the early stages, to be a targeted event”, though police have not officially determined a motive.
“As the reporters said, 20 November is Transgender Remembrance Day,” he said.
“It’s important in the law enforcement community when they are investigating things like this to look at anniversaries, days of remembrance, and what does the calendar say about maybe a possible motive.”
He continued: “Let’s assume for the moment that there is hate as motivation… it’s possible that with homicide charges times five and then 18 assault charges on top of that, it would not change the sentence.
“We’re talking about likely life or worse, depending on what’s available in Colorado. It’s not necessarily true that hate crime would actually enhance the sentence in any appreciable way. Prosecutors might say look, the guy spending the rest of his life in jail.
“I think there’s actually a reason — a societal reason – to charge hate even if it doesn’t enhance the sentence.”