Today, Dylann Storm Roof, the man suspected of killing nine people at a prayer meeting at a historic black church in Charleston, SC, has been captured. And there have been plenty of updates to follow. Inside, we recap the crime and capture of the heinous suspect as well as statements from Attorney General Loretta Lynch and President Obama.
Following an intensive 14-hour manhunt for the man suspected of carrying out a racially motivated mass murder, a capture was made this afternoon.
Earlier today, police apprehended 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, a man who allegedly performed white supremacist actions and a resident of Lexington, South Carolina. He is the suspect (the term “suspect” is used here for legalities only) in Wednesday night’s mass shooting at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which is also the oldest black church in the south.
Dylann was STILL armed when he was arrested today after a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina, about 245 miles away from the crime.
The mainstream media made a point, in almost every report on this story, to point out he had a “peaceful arrest.” He was also given a bulletproof vest and seemingly handled with respect and care by police.
Needless to say, commenters on the internet were livid. People did not hold back about the hypocrisy and double standard of how an armed white man is treated in an arrest, in comparison to the often excessive treatment of an unarmed black man who may or may not have been committing a crime.
The tragic shooting took place during an 8pm Bible study meeting where a survivor reports that Dylann (shown atop in a prior mugshot) sat quietly for an hour before jumping up and starting to shoot. He allegedly reloaded five times as victims, including the pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney (a personal friend of the Obamas) who reportedly begged for him to stop.
According to Sylvia Johnson, who is the cousin of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one survivor told her that Dylan reportedly said, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.’”
Oddly, a look at Dylann’s Facebook page shows that he has several Black “friends” (and it’s unclear the reason he actually befriended these people), and also includes pics of himself wearing a jacket emblazoned with the flags of pre-apartheid South Africa and the now-disbanded Rhodesia.
Today, in the White House briefing room, President Obama spoke about the tragedy. As you’ll see in the transcript, he mentions the “historical” significance of the church and its place in our history, but loudly avoids talking about race or racism as it relates the heainus act that occured and the disgusting human being who murdered nine people.
Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.
Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church. We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night. And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.
Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy.
There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.
Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret. When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.
The FBI is now on the scene with local police, and more of the Bureau’s best are on the way to join them. The Attorney General has announced plans for the FBI to open a hate crime investigation. We understand that the suspect is in custody. And I’ll let the best of law enforcement do its work to make sure that justice is served.
Until the investigation is complete, I’m necessarily constrained in terms of talking about the details of the case. But I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions that tragedies like this raise. I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.
We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.
Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear:
At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.
I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.
The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark …read more