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Wednesday marks 5 years since black worshippers were killed in Charleston church shooting

Wednesday marks 5 years since black worshippers were killed in Charleston church shooting
Posted at 12:15 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 12:57:36-04

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Wednesday marks five years since nine black worshipers were killed in a racist attack at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The white supremacist shooter, Dylan Roof, targeted his victims because of the color of their skin. He was later convicted on murder and hate crime charges. He was sentenced to death and is awaiting execution at a federal prison in Indiana.

The massacre at Mother Emanuel AME church on June 17, 2015, led South Carolina leaders to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol lawn.

But as the U.S. is roiled again by more shocking deaths of African Americans, South Carolina isn't removing more monuments of historical figures who repressed or oppressed blacks.

Republican leaders like House Speaker Jay Lucas said in 2015 they would not consider any more changes after the Confederate flag came down and have kept their word. And state law protects monuments without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

To mark the anniversary of the massacre, the people behind the documentary “Emanuel” will hold a discussion about racial justice. The movie explores the shooting and race relations in the port city that once served as a gateway to the slave trade.

Producers Mariska Hargitay and Viola Davis will be part of the discussion, and U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clayborn will host the event, The Post and Courier reports.

The discussion will be streamed live on Facebook starting at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday and the film is available to watch online for free here until June 23.