Hastings’ Statement on Apprehension of Attempted Bombing Suspect
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) apprehended a suspect in the bombing attempts of critics of the Trump Administration:
“I join in thanking the members of law enforcement who worked diligently to locate and arrest a suspect in the string of bombing attempts throughout our country. I again condemn these cowardly attempts to incite fear and promote violence in the strongest terms.
“Cesar Sayoc stands accused of deliberately targeting critics of the Trump Administration who express political views different from the President. I know that those targeted by these cowardly acts will not give in to intimidation and will continue to stand-up for their beliefs and their constitutionally protected rights. Mr. Sayoc’s culpability will be assessed, and if he is found guilty, will be held accountable for his actions.
“It is a profound relief that a suspect has been apprehended, and that none of the explosives mailed to high-profile Democrats detonated. Many lives and unknown heartbreak has been spared by this miracle. We may learn of more packages in the days ahead, and I am confident that members of law enforcement will continue to respond as they have so professionally over the past week.
“There is a sickness pervading in our country, and I have no doubt that in the coming days we will hear renewed calls for civility in our national rhetoric. If we are to treat this moment with the seriousness it deserves, we cannot shy away from addressing this disturbing trend head on. Each of us – from the President down – needs to play his or her part to restore respect within the political atmosphere.
“The President’s castigation of the media as illegitimate and incitement against those who disagree with him has emerged as an enduring abuse of power. For too long, Republican leaders have stood idly by as their followers called for imprisoning their opponents, advanced racist or Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, or even celebrated acts of violence.
“We are better than this, and we must intervene before this disturbing trend begins to define us. We each have a responsibility to our neighbors, and I intend to continue working to make our country a better, safer, and more tolerant place for everybody.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.