Peoples-Stokes: Tops Markets commits to reopening
On Saturday, following the funeral of Ruth Whitfield, State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said that Tops has committed to reopening and that she hopes it will open in the next few weeks.
"We can get this market open by I would hope the end of June. Totally redone on the front of it, totally redone on the inside and look like a different store when you walk in there," Peoples-Stokes said.
The shooting hit home for Peoples-Stokes, as she shared that she knew and grew up with the Whitfields going to AME Zion Church. Ruth was the eldest victim of the shooting and the last victim to be laid to rest.
Peoples-Stokes also fought for the Tops Market to be built.
The absence of the store has worsened an existing food desert, which is why she and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown say they want to see it reopen very soon.
"Peoples-Stokes: I don't want people at 14208, which is where I live...
Byron Brown: ...and where I live...
Peoples-Stokes: ...to wait for four months before there is a market...
Bryon Brown: ...or a year or two years..."
After the 2019 El Paso Walmart mass shooting, it took a little over three months for their store to reopen with major renovations.
In El Paso and now in Buffalo, there are mixed feelings about reopening these stores after these racist attacks.
There have been some cases where after a mass shooting, buildings were demolished and rebuilt, such as with Sandy Hook.
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