Department Of Justice To Pay $88M To Families, Victims Of SC Church Massacre


WASHINGTON — Families of nine victims killed in a racist attack at a Black South Carolina church have reached a settlement with the Justice Department over a faulty background check that allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he used in the 2015 massacre.

“We cannot bring back those 9 victims. We can not erase those scars that those survivors have. But what we do here today as lawyers and these families is we say we stand on justice,” said attorney Bakari Sellers.

Sellers says the settlement is a monumental moment in the fight against racism and hate.

“That bible study caused us so much pain and so much hurt. But it showed us also that things like justice could be a verb,” said Sellers.

The Justice Department will pay $88 million, which includes $63 million for the families of the slain and $25 million for survivors of the shooting, it was announced Thursday.

“It allows me and my sister to have the opportunity to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure my fathers legacy doesn’t go away,” said Eliana Pinchkney.

Her father, Rev. Clementa Pinckney was one of the victims. Her mother and sister survived. Today, she thanked those close to her.

“That is something that is so hard to grasp with and so hard to understand and so hard to grow from. But it’s so important that I’ve had a community behind me to help me get to the place where I am now,” said Pinckney.

Weeks before the church shooting, Roof was arrested by Columbia, South Carolina, police on the drug possession charge. But a series of clerical errors and missteps allowed Roof to buy the handgun he later used in the killings.

In August, A federal appeals court upheld Dylann Roof’s conviction and death sentence. He was the first person in the US to be sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.





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