White House Says the Shooting of Two Indian Men in Kansas Was Likely ‘Racially Motivated’

Almost a full week after a 51-year-old bar-goer reportedly shouted "get out of my country" before murdering an Indian man, the White House denounced the act as likely "racially motivated hatred," according to Agence Presse-France.

"As more facts come to light and it begins to look like this was an act of racially motivated hatred," Sarah Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, told reporters, "we want to reiterate the president condemns these or any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms. They have no place in our country."

Last Wednesday, Adam Purinton allegedly walked into Austin's Bar and Grill outside of Kansas City and opened fire at two Indian patrons. He then drove 70 miles to an Applebee's where he confessed to a bartender that he had "done something really bad" to some people he erroneously believed to be from Iran. He was arrested without incident at the restaurant after staff called the police.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old Indian engineer, died at the hospital that night. Purinton has since been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder for injuring Kuchibhotla's friend, Alok Madasani, and Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old who tried to intervene. The FBI announced Tuesday that it is investigating the Kansas bar shooting as a hate crime.

Madasani's parents have since warned other Indian parents not to send their children to the United States, saying the country is now dangerous for foreigners of color following Donald Trump's election. Trump campaigned on banning Muslims from entering the country, and soon after he took office, he issued an executive order that barred immigration from seven majority-Muslim nations.

Today's statement from the White House is the first time the administration acknowledged the attack since Friday, when press secretary Sean Spicer said that there was no correlation between the president's rhetoric and the shooting.

"Any loss of life is tragic," he said at the daily press conference. "But I'm not going to get into, like, that kind of––to suggest that there's any correlation, I think is a bit absurd."

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‘Ghost Recon Wildlands’ Draws from the Real-Life Cartel War

One half of the team moved in on the cartel boss' hideout by night, watched overhead by their partners in an helicopter gunship. The narcos retreated to the second floor of a building, scattering to pick up machine guns and a grenade launcher.

That's when the helicopter's minigun opened fire, hammering through the walls and tearing the narcos apart. With another capo down, the team moved in to search for intel that might lead to their next target.

Though it might seem like a mission out of  Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands, this battle between Mexican Marines and the Beltrán Leyva drug cartel actually occurred two weeks ago, in the Mexican city of Tepic. It wasn't the first time the Marines had used helicopter gunships against cartel targets, but previous incidents had been in rural areas, not the heart of a city. This underscores why it's difficult to create believable fiction out of the ongoing Mexican Cartel War: what's over-the-top one day might be standard tactics the next.

"In 2009,  Breaking Bad had an episode where Mexican cartels used an IED," says Ioan Grillo, a journalist and author of the book  Gangster Warlords. "I thought 'Oh, that's too much,' then in 2010 there was an IED in Ciudad Juarez."

Read more on Waypoint

Inside LA’s History of Chicano-Style Tattoos

On an all new episode of NEEDLES & PINSVICELAND's series following Grace Neutral as she explores the journey of tattoo art from subculture to global phenomenon—we head to LA to explore the history of Chicano-style tattoos, learning how they evolved from the prison cells and gang culture of LA to the wider world.

NEEDLES & PINS airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on VICELAND.

Want to know if you get VICELAND? Head here to find out how to tune in.


Losing All Inhibition at the ‘Dirty Masquerade’

J'ouvert is New York City's most controversial cultural celebration. For one thing, the raucous street masquerade, filled with its writhing, unfettered black bodies, doesn't quite fit in with the matcha-sipping, downward-dogging image of gentrified, white Brooklyn that helps sell overpriced real estate. Not to mention, the parade route for the celebration goes through rival gang territories in the neighborhoods of Flatbush and Crown Heights, giving way to violent clashes. Every year, there are national headlines about shootings, stabbings, and assaults during J'ouvert, which has led New York City officials like former police commissioner William Bratton to characterize it as the city's "most violent cultural event" and New York assemblyman Walter T. Mosley to call for it to be suspended. 

But that's just one shortsighted take on J'ouvert. It's so much more than drunk asses shooting at one another. The street masquerade plays an important role in Brooklyn's Carnival, taking place in the pre-dawn hours of Labor Day as a prelude to the massive West Indian Day Parade. Brought here by West Indian immigrants, J'ouvert's origins lie in the emancipation of enslaved Africans in colonized Trinidad in the 19th century, who used street masquerades to mock and satirize their former masters. Today, J'ouvert brings together more than 200,000 people, who join in the revelry by playing mas (short for masquerade), which consists of donning macabre costumes or covering themselves up in mud and paint and chipping (a sort of marching shuffle) down the street to the sounds of riotous steel pan music. 

Fascinated by all this contention and culture, VICE's Wilbert L. Cooper decided to immerse himself in J'ouvert. In the run up to Labor Day 2016, he met with old-school Trinidadian mas men to learn about its origins and its ability to speak truth to power through its satirical costumes and placards. He talked with local politicians about how they planned to regulate the festival and make it safer than years past. And he connected with the young Caribbean Americans to find out how they were carrying on the tradition and what they thought about the violence the celebration has become known for. After all the talking and intellectualizing, Wilbert realized that the only way he'd ever really understand J'ouvert would be by joining a mas camp and playing himself. 

Watch Wilbert's transformative experience at J'ouvert in VICE's new feature documentary, Brooklyn's Dirty Masquerade: