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Suspect said it would be easy to commit crime on the subway

Man sought by NYPD for subway shooting compared Black Americans to Holocaust Jews

In long tirades on YouTube, Frank James, 62, person of interest in Brooklyn mass shooting, said a Nazi party will rise in the US and enslave its neighbors

Luke Tress is an editor and a reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Frank James, sought by police as a person of interest in connection with the shooting on a Brooklyn subway on April 12, 2022 (Credit: NYPD)
Frank James, sought by police as a person of interest in connection with the shooting on a Brooklyn subway on April 12, 2022 (Credit: NYPD)

NEW YORK — A man sought by police in connection with a mass shooting in New York City on Tuesday has compared Black Americans to Jews during the Holocaust in several tirades posted online.

A gunman fired a barrage of bullets into a rush-hour subway train on Tuesday morning in Brooklyn, shooting at least 10 people, and is still at large.

Police are scouring the city for Frank James, 62, who rented a van that is believed to be connected to the violence. The key to the van was found on the train among belongings believed to belong to the attacker, along with James’s credit card. Initial reports about the attacker matched James’s appearance.

James has not been named as a suspect or charged with any crimes, and police said they are unsure whether he is connected to the shooting.

An individual who appears to be James regularly posted violent, bigoted tirades on a personal YouTube channel. Police released a photo of the individual taken from the YouTube channel, and law enforcement officials confirmed to the New York Times that it was the same person they were looking for.

The channel has dozens of videos, some over an hour long, mostly featuring James ranting to the camera. He often discusses race, violence and current events, and his scorn is directed at both white Americans and other Black people, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

Police officers patrol a subway station in New York after a mass shooting at a station in Brooklyn, April 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In at least three videos, he compares the experience of Black Americans to Jews during the Holocaust.

In a video titled “WE ARE THEM,” posted on February 2, he discusses a controversy that erupted at that time over comedian Whoopi Goldberg’s comments about the Holocaust. Goldberg said the Holocaust was “not about race,” but about two groups of white people “fighting each other.”

A screenshot from a video posted on YouTube by an individual sought in connection to a mass shooting in New York on April 12, 2022. (Screenshot/YouTube)

In a rambling tirade, the individual believed to be James says Jews are not a race, but the Nazis “created a whole new reality” that allowed the “murder of Jews and the enslavement” of anyone they thought was inferior.

“That’s why they called themselves the master race. The Nazis called themselves the master race and everybody else was supposed to be their slaves,” he says.

He says European slavery “exterminated the African race,” and blames some Africans for enabling white people to carry out the slave trade. Like the Germans categorized the Jews as a separate race, groups in Africa saw themselves as separate from each other, he says.

“The Germans saw the Jews as a race, while obviously we saw each other as separate races, as separate groups. There was Zulu, Bantu, Hausa,” he says.

He outlines the poem, “First they came…,” written by a German in 1946 about oppressors taking away Jews and other groups, and compares Germans who were complicit in the murder of Jews to Africans who abetted the slave trade.

He says something similar will happen in the US.

“The seed is already planted for a Nazi party to rise in this country again and I believe it will,” he says, predicting Black people will again be enslaved by their neighbors, like Jews during the Holocaust.

“Jewish is not a race. It’s a religion that the Nazis turned into a race,” he says. “For us not to understand or to think that somewhere along the line this cannot happen to us is to beg to die, is to beg to be fucking re-enslaved, and we will be, because we never stopped being slaves.”

The entrance to a subway station where a gunman shot 10 people in Brooklyn, New York City, April 12, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

In another video from May 2020, called “MEANS OF PRODUCTION,” he says Black people in the US need to control the things they depend on, including food and vehicles.

“We will always be dependent on other men, and men who would see us dead if the situation called for it wouldn’t hesitate to kill us. We depend on these people, and that makes no sense,” he says, comparing the situation to Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto at the mercy of the Nazis.

“They wouldn’t even have to fire a shot; all they got to do is surround the area you live in with tanks, don’t let nobody in or nobody out,” in order to kill everyone inside, he says. “They did it with the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. They surrounded them with troops and shit, and they held them in there and they starved them to death. They starved the Jews to death.”

New York police at the scene of a mass shooting in Brooklyn, April 12, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

In a third video, titled “born in a insane asylum,” posted on March 23, he refers to an “American Auschwitz,” says people are destroying the environment, and says “we should be exterminated.”

“Pray, pray until your fucking face falls off. Do you not think the Jews in Auschwitz didn’t pray?” he says. “Do you think the Jews in [Birkenau] didn’t pray and pray? Did their God come and save them? And these are supposedly the original people of God. Their prayers didn’t do nothing for them.”

“‘That could never happen here’ — famous last words, because those words were uttered by many a German European Jew,” he adds.

In addition to his Holocaust references, James, in the videos, scorns Black Americans with college degrees, refers to his own heavy drinking and says he had previous YouTube channels that were taken down, apparently for content violations.

In one recent video, he discusses how easy it would be to commit crime on the subway, and in other videos he filmed New York subways.

The banner image on the channel showed an alarm clock emblazoned with the words, “Too late.”

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