Man accused in church shooting indicted on dozens of federal charges, including hate crimes

Published July 22, 2015, Associated Pres, Source


The man accused of slaying of nine black church members in Charleston last month has been indicted on dozens of federal charges, including 12 hate crime counts.


Documents released Wednesday show a federal grand jury indicted 21-year-old Dylann Roof on the charges. The indictments include a dozen allegations of obstructing someone's religious practice, a charge that can potentially carry the death penalty in the federal system.

Federal charges have been expected since Roof was arrested following the June 17 shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston. Roof, who is white, appeared in photos waving Confederate flags and burning or desecrating U.S. flags, and purportedly wrote of fomenting racial violence.


Prosecutors haven't said if they'll seek the death penalty against Roof on state charges including nine counts of murder.

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Charleston Shooting-1.jpg

FILE - In this June 18, 2015, file photo, Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. Lynch announced that Dylann Roof, the man accused of slaying of nine black church members in Charleston last month was indicted July 22, on 33 federal counts, including hate crimes, firearms violations and obstructing the practice of religion, which could include the death penalty. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (The Associated Press)

South Carolina church shooting suspect to face federal hate crime charges


The white man charged in South Carolina with killing nine blacks at a Charleston church faces federal hate crimes and firearms charges that could lead to the death penalty or life in prison, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday.


A federal grand jury in South Carolina returned a 33-count indictment against Dylann Roof, accused of a deadly shooting spree during Bible study at a historic black church last month, Lynch said.


The federal government has not decided if it will seek the death penalty if Roof is convicted, she said.


South Carolina is one of the few U.S. states that does not have a hate crimes statute. So the charges in the federal hate crime that Roof targeted the victims "because of their race and in order to interfere with their exercise of religion" are part of the federal indictment, Lynch said.


"The parishioners had Bibles. Dylann Roof had his .45 caliber Glock pistol and eight magazines loaded with hollow point bullets," Lynch said.


She noted that Roof had singled out the nearly 200-year-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church because of its historical significance in the African-American community. She said he had been planning the attack for several months.


Roof, 21, has already been charged with nine counts of murder in state court in Charleston in the June 17 shooting. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty. He also faces three counts of attempted murder.


Following the massacre, a website linked to Roof surfaced containing a racist manifesto, showing him in photos posing with a Confederate flag, viewed by many as a symbol of racism.


(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Julia Edwards and Lindsay Dunsmuir in Washington; Additional reporting by Harriet McLeod in Charleston, S.C., Emily Stephenson in and Letitia Stein in Tampa, Fla.; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Peter Cooney)

Racism, brutality, killings against the Black American population resembles what has been directed against the Indian population in Guyana since the 60's.


Such experiences have far reaching implications on the mind-set and attitude of an entire people.  Just look at the poor lady in Texas, harassed for a minor infraction pushing her over the edge to suicide.

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