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88 million Dollar Settlement

select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,459 ✭✭✭✭

Clerical Error from Sheriff's Dept to record Drug Charges so a background check would not have allowed him to buy the AR at the Columbia Gun Dealer

US to pay $88M to families, victims of SC church massacre

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Charleston Church Shooting

Bakari Sellers, the attorney for the families of victims killed in the 2015 Mother Emanuel AME Church massacre, speaks with reporters outside the Justice Department, in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. Families of nine victims killed in a racist attack at the 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. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)


Thu, October 28, 2021, 11:13 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

The Justice Department will pay $88 million, which includes $63 million for the families of the nine people killed and $25 million for five survivors who were inside the church at the time of the shooting, it was announced Thursday.

Bakari Sellers, an attorney who helped broker the agreement, told The Associated Press the "88” figure was purposeful. It's a number typically associated with white supremacy and the number of bullets Roof said he had taken with him to the attack.

“We’ve given a big ‘F you’ to white supremacy and racism,” Sellers told the AP. “We’re doing that by building generational wealth in these Black communities, from one of the most horrific race crimes in the country.”

According to the Justice Department, settlements for the families of those killed range from $6 million to $7.5 million per claimant. Survivors' settlements are $5 million per claimant.

Months before the June 17, 2015 church shooting, Roof was arrested on Feb. 28 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 massacre.

The errors included wrongly listing the sheriff’s office as the arresting agency in the drug case, according to court documents. An examiner with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System found some information on the arrest but needed more to deny the sale, so she sent a fax to a sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office responded it didn’t have the report, directing her to the Columbia police.

Under the system’s operating procedures, the examiner was directed to a federal listing of law enforcement agencies, but Columbia police did not appear on the list. After trying the separate West Columbia Police Department and being told it was the wrong agency, the examiner did nothing more.

After a three-day waiting period, Roof went back to a West Columbia store to pick up the handgun.

The lawsuit for a time was thrown out, with a judge writing that an examiner followed procedures but also blasting the federal government for what he called its “abysmally poor policy choices” in how it runs the national database for firearm background checks. The suit was subsequently reinstated by a federal appeals court.

“The mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church was a horrific hate crime that caused immeasurable suffering for the families of the victims and the survivors,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “Since the day of the shooting, the Justice Department has sought to bring justice to the community, first by a successful hate crime prosecution and today by settling civil claims.”

In 2017, Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime. Authorities have said Roof opened fire during the Bible study at the church, raining down dozens of bullets on those assembled. He was 21 at the time.

The slain included the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of the AME Emanuel Church, a state senator, as well as other pillars of the community. They all shared deep devotion to the church, known as Mother Emanuel, and passed that faith along to their families, many of whom offered Roof forgiveness when he appeared in court just days after the attack.

The FBI has acknowledged that Roof’s drug possession arrest should have prevented him from buying a gun.

Speaking with AP in Washington ahead of the news conference, Pinckney’s eldest daughter recalled the night of the shooting and said she was committed to maintaining the legacy of her father, who died when she was 11.

“I’ve done whatever I can to keep his memory alive and to carry on his legacy throughout my life,” Eliana Pinckney, 17, told the AP. “Just to make sure that the memories that I have with him can be shared with other people, so that other people are inspired by the life that he lived, and the life that he would keep living if he was still here.”

The deal, which was reached earlier this month, is still pending a judge’s approval, Sellers said.

“All nine of these families have been so strong, and they deserve this closure,” Sellers said. “Of course we wanted more, but this is just, and this is justice, and finally, these families can say that they got it.”


  • SCOUT5SCOUT5 Member Posts: 16,182 ✭✭✭✭

    I feel for the people involved. However I do not think this settlement is warranted, it sets a bad precedence and on the government's side is clearly agenda driven.

  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,459 ✭✭✭✭

    That sums it up

  • Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 23,392 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2021

    100%. The Biden Administration is building a case for the cost of allowing that archaic 2nd Amendment to remain, not in lives (they have demonstrated they do not care about lives) but in dollars.

    There is a serious effort to frame firearm deaths as a national health emergency. We have seen over the past 20 months what government will do when given emergency powers regarding health.

    I also question whether Roof misdemeanor drug possession arrest would have or should have prevented him from buying a firearm. Perhaps someone in the FBI said something to that effect, but i do not believe there is sufficient evidence to confirm that the statement is true.

    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,459 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2021

    Indictment July 2015 for Drugs Lexington County SC .lt Does not mention the sentence. He was also arrested for trespass in Richand co. bonded out and paid the fine in full. Only thing I can think he done wrong was lying on the 4430 form if he used mary jane.

  • Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 23,392 ✭✭✭✭

    If he lied, it was a fraudulent purchase, and there was not a clerical error that could justify this settlement.

    If we are being honest, there was nothing wrong with how the purchase played out. Obviously the little jerk should not have had a pistol, but a background check cannot verify intent. At the time, it was stated there was a pending misdemeanor drug possession charge. These typically do not result in prison time, and typically would not be disqualifying. Also, using drugs in the past is not disqualifying, and absent a test at the time of the purchase, there is no evidence that he was using at the time.

    The big picture here, is that an evil little boy, did an evil thing, and because of the current political mindset int the Justice department, the families of the dead get a big payday from the rest of us. A bigger payday than those killed on 11 September in 2001, and a bigger payday than those killed in the line of duty when fighting under our flag.

    This settlement is political pandering, and there is a bigger issue being put into play than simply compensating victims.

    If may be a benign as yet another diversion from the disaster that is the Biden Presidency, but I fear that it is more likely a purposeful step in laying the groundwork for a wide ranging assault on liberty.

    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,459 ✭✭✭✭

    Well shooting the church up and killing 9 wasn't the end story. Gov. Niki Haley drove a stake in the hearts of folks by claiming all the racism by him wearing a confederate jacket on an internet site. Down went the Confederate Flag on the state house grounds and more racism by the Blacks than this state could handle. It still goes on today and spread like wildfire... even in my eyes starting the BLM movement. And the very end story. That woman will probably run for president someday. I would not give her the time of day.

  • chiefrchiefr Member Posts: 13,494 ✭✭✭✭

    Almost like they are incentivizing more of the same instead of fixing the real problem.

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