Charleston Shooting Memorial
(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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By Meg Kinnard, 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.

Dylann Roof
(Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool, File)

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.

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  1. RIP to the deceased
    “five survivors who were inside the church at the time of the shooting”- were they shot and survived…or merely in the same building (like David Hogg)…two ENTIRELY different things…

    • The Justice Department is NOT be paying this settlement

      We, the tax payers, will be paying this settlement. There is no accountability in government.

    • I am very sorry these people lost their lives to pure evil, but are there any tort or constitutional lawyers here that can explain why the USG {ie taxpayers) owe the these folks damages? This seems to fall in the same category as the border separation cases, feel good money.
      (sorry guys I practiced criminal defense in a free state)

      • Simple. It is because they are black and especially, since a white person is involved. Innocent people lose everything just based on this. This is why I wear a body camera and have a car camera. I am serious. I was on a jury once. This guy, white, was stopped at a red light. This other guy, black, did not stop and hit him. The black guy decided to sue, even though it was his fault. I don’t know how it made it that far but it took us 2 days to reach a verdict, because these two black women were trying to find anyway to blame the white guy. They even said that he should have moved to the middle of the intersection. Haha. This was 5 years ago and I am 100 % sure if this happens again , in this climate, they will probably find the white guy at fault. It is scary! Like I said, after Dylan Roof, a black guy went into a white church and shot white people. No money for them! No one seems to remember that!

    • Yeah sure that is why he only killed blacks and chose an all black church. Peddle your racist bullshit to your fellow racists.

      • darcy dodo…If you were not such an obvious history illiterate you could see d. roof’s head was clearly filled with demoCrap and he acted accordingly. Your head is filled with demoCrap too. Only difference at this point is you run around shooting off your insane, slanderous. libelous piehole.

      • Dacian.
        You throw the term racism around but I doubt you know what racism actually means. Are you claiming that a man who commits a mass murdered of people of any color is a sane man or that a sane man acts in a sane fashion when he targets black people if he’s a racist?

        I will say it once again; Dylann Roof is not a racist. Dylann Roof is insane and a mass killer who should be put down.

  2. RE: “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.”

    Not so fast…If you belong to the democRat Party you belong to the primary source for dylan’s roof’s bigotry. Such bigotry and hate came from somewhere and it did not begin with dylan roof or even with the perp who assassinated MLK.

    Somewhere during the course of dylan roof’s life he latched onto what dropped out of the behind of the democRat Party. The party that owns the legacy of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, the KKK, lynching, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities. Centuries of such atrocities just do not disappear one day. There are people who carry the torch and obviously there are empty gullible minds waiting to be filled.

    I.E. You cannot get more racist than Gun Control. And where is Gun Control today? Why it’s alive and well and remains right at home in the democRat Party and it still fills the heads of clueless useful idiots.

    Let’s not lay it all on dylan roof. Let’s lay it all on the democRat Party where it belongs.

    • No, let’s lay Dylan Roof’s actions squarely at Dylan Roof’s feet, and no one else’s. That is true justice.

      We can lay the Democrats’ own faults at their feet. They have plenty.

      • People who haz a question usually haz a problem with comprehension. And worse…they often see what they want to see.

        • You’re correct. I don’t understand what the heck you even meant by that vague response.

          I must say, at this point, after years of reading TTAG and your own comments, I have to wonder why you yourself are always so obsessed with race.

  3. Glancing at the shooter Roof dismantles any idea this demented bowl head is superior to ANYONE…hey my church has security & a ton of armed members.

    • A true scion of white supremacists. Multiple generations of inbreeding involved to maintain the purity of the bloodlines.

  4. So, let me see if I’m understanding this article and the purpose of the settlement as described…

    A group of assumedly church-going people (assumed because the plaintiffs are all family members of the church-going deceased victims) play the Race Card and pursue financial gain via taxpayer funding by blaming the Federal Government for an unrelated individual’s decision to commit murder. And the numerical value of the award was specifically chosen to (as their attorney stated) “give a big ‘F you’ to white supremacy and racism…by building generational wealth in these Black communities…”

    As a Christian myself, that absolutely sickens me. Believers in Jesus Christ typically view all people as created in the image of God, and therefore of inestimable value. The melanin content of one’s skin does not matter, any more than the color of one’s hair. But these plaintiffs chose to enrich themselves to the tune of $5 million dollars each with the explicit message through their attorney that they were somehow owed “generational wealth” from the larger White community because a single person who does not represent the larger White community committed this atrocity.

    That is the same thing as a group of White people suing for a large financial settlement because of the actions of a single Black man to “send a message”. It’s patently absurd, yet here we are in 2021.

    I do not consider the family members of that church to be representatives of Christ, and I hope they find that the money will not bring them any joy.

    • Who said they are “saved”Haz? Look at Chiraq…a church on every corner and few real believers. The social gospel and tradition rules most black churches. If they were real Christians they wouldn’t support baby murder or their own racist beliefs.

      • That’s pretty much my point. These plaintiffs clearly placed the acquisition of money in the name of “systemic racism” above the reputation of Christ. While I disagree with the directional focus of their claim and believe Dylan Roof is solely responsible for his actions (not the Feds, nor taxpayers), it would have been different if a smaller settlement had been made with the declaration of failure of the BGC system. Instead, their attorney said the numerical total was chosen specifically to represent white supremacy (I wasn’t aware the number 8 had that distinction) and to shift wealth from Whites to Blacks.

        Again, this sickens me. It can be expected from secular corners, but from a church???

        • I Haz – you raised lots of valid points in your comments – BUT while name deleted is ultimately the ONLY one responsible for his horrendous act – the factors that created him and his hate need to at least be recognized before we as a society can deal with them.
          FYI “88” used to be a sign off in ham radio parlance – it meant ‘hugs & kisses’ (more or less). Like many other symbolic signs (rainbows) it has been corrupted by several hate groups. neonazis ‘claim’ it now means ‘heilhitler’ and now by this group to stick it to whitey. The hate runs way too deep from far too many.

    • The settlement is because the .gov made these back ground checks law. Then f*cked up in their procedures. The way to save tax payers money is to eliminate the reason to sue .gov.

      Get rid of back ground checks. One less thing for the .gov to mess up and get sued over.

      • Yes, get rid of background checks. However, I agree with Haz on his analysis, and that the settlement was sought because of a political agenda, as was made clear by the attorney. The agency error was merely the truck that this attorney used to swing by the courthouse while on his way to the bank. These folks suffered a tragedy from a horrific crime, but they compounded it with their political agenda. I don’t see much peace in any of their futures. Peace is within, and it doesn’t mix well with anger and hatred.

        Wasn’t this the same church in which the pastor had just prior rejected concealed carry among the congregation? If so, just more evidence that they’ve got their priorities messed up.

      • Oh brilliant idea Jethero WM did you think up that one all on your own or did you require assistance from the local lunatic that hangs out at your therapy sessions. Remember Clown just in a 20 year period the Brady Bill stopped 2.1 million gun buys from many people who would have committed felonies with them. But that is way over your head isn’t it.

        • Remember folks. lil’d is as mentally ill as Roof. Maybe more. Do not engage with him. He’ll just get angry and abuse his poor mother some more.

        • And the NICS has a very high false positive rate. Most, at least 90%+, are overturned because of erroneous data.

          And of the remainder the arrest and conviction rate is also very low.

      • Stop saying the goobermint is the one paying. It is you and I who are footing the bill. The goober mint’s money comes out of our pockets. They do nothing to create wealth, only destroy it.

    • Well when you put yourself in a box with church, black and white mr. question it’s expected you’ll see everything as cut and dry. Cut and dry to the point a lone d. roof invented the racism that drove him to madness. When in such a box all you accomplish is lending cover to incognito co-conspirators which history confirms is the democRat Party…The very owners for what resided between the ears of d. roof.

      Furthermore…The funds allocated for a tragedy that was far, far, far from the first were derived from the wrong source. The one correct source for such funds should have came direct from democRat Party coffers. Your failure to note that allows democRat Party Rot to skate by and salute you…Not me.

      • What in the world did you mean with that word salad? Complete jibberish. I could have a conversation with you if you used cohesive sentences.

    • to I Haz

      quote————As a Christian myself,–quote

      What a laugh Haz you blaspheme very facet of Christianity. You reek with racism as everything in your post proved it.

      The settlement had zero to do with race but a Storm Trooper like you would fail to understand it.

      • And I thought you Socialists were fundamentalist atheists who consider themselves above such archaic superstitions.

    • So, with Bakari Sellers’ logic, the senseless mayhem would be a “love” crime if the church congregation were white.

  5. Does this mean that the feds are going to take liability for Parkland and Suthernland Springs as well? They were both times the feds could have interdicted and didn’t. What about San Bernadino and The Pulse?

    It’s funny how many of these public mass shootings that are highly publicized involve the feds or their negligence isn’t it?

    • “Does this mean that the feds are going to take liability for…”

      As long as they get a chance to politically grandstand, you can bet there’s no limit of your great grandchildrens’ money that they will spend.

  6. to I Haz

    Spoken like a true far right white racist. You passed the racist test.

    Tax money comes from all people not just whites. That was a subliminal racist remark.

    And remember that the Feds were at fault for not denying him the sale when he went to through the background check. It proves our background check system needs improving and must become far more thorough to weed out nut cases and felons like Dylann Roof. Even the current system would have caught him if they checker would have had more time to do a much more thorough background check. Yeah I know that is a waiting period but what was the alternative, let him have the gun and then go on a killing spree.

    • apparently, someone has denied you your medication.

      Are you so angry all the time, and upset about guns, because…

      A. you can’t legally posses a gun ?
      B. you can’t figure out how to operate a gun?
      C. you got dropped on your head a lot as a child?
      D. you are simply bored sitting there in the state hospital?
      E. you can’t become your own person so you pick up the causes of others so you can feel “worth while”?
      F. you are over medicated?
      G. you are under medicated?
      H. you need to be medicated?
      I. you were touched too much while pole dancing at the local strip club?
      J. you were abducted by aliens and anally probed so got brain damage?
      K. you really miss the aliens now, but you still email back and forth?

  7. I see that King Dribble Cup wants to reward the illegal immigrants seperated at the border $450,000…. Each…. times 8,600 “victims”. Looks like the least lucrative way to get rich is working and paying taxes. Oh, and a preemptive GFY to lil ‘d and his(?) Capitalvania bullshit… Not My President !

  8. No more background checks. No more federal gun laws. However did we get to the beginning of the 20th century without any?

      • “We got there over piles and piles of dead bodies.”

        Too bad one of those wasn’t a racist like yourself, ‘d’… 😉

      • Funny how people like you don’t seem to remember any of the times a black person has killed whites, especially , in mass killings. Why is that? Where is their money? Bakari is a racist. You build generational wealth by working hard. Something he and others like him know nothing about. Please show us where any whites ever killed by a black person has gotten any money. There was a shooting a white chirch by a black guy after this one. Start there!

      • Dacian
        Filling out a 4473 for a Firearms purchase at a gun store has been the law since 1968. Are you alleging that no one has been murdered with a firearm in the United States since the government started performing background checks on purchasers?

        • What I am saying Officer Bill is that the current system only vets new gun purchases. The bulk of all gun sales are second hand guns that are in most state not regulated. States with lax laws funnel tens of thousands of second hand guns into states and cities with tough laws making their laws meaningless.

          Law Enforcement tracings in many states along with two different Chicago studies proved all this many times over.

          If you want more and more anti-gun laws then sit back and do nothing to keep criminals and psychopaths from buying all they want 365 days a year.

  9. why you killed somebody shouldnt be a crime in and of itself
    does it matter yes
    so bring it up during sentencing
    the judge can give you the max

    • to Un-American Disgraceful Racist.

      I think every racist on the internet must hang out here from time to time. You really take the cake.

      The settlement had nothing to do with race but that is way over your head.

      • “I think every racist on the internet must hang out here from time to time.”

        Well, you do, spewing your vile racist hatred… 🙂

        • He’s a fascist mental case. He and his buddies on Ward A have nothing to do but spew hatred between injections.

      • It has everything to do with race. Show us where any whites killed by black people have ever been paid. There have been plenty of mass shootings of whites by black people and zero collected money.

    • American Patriot,

      Apparently it hinges on whatever “purposeful” number your lawyer can come up with. If it’s a really big number that benefits him, well I’m sure that would just be coincidental.

  10. I am sure that the race baiters think that it was well worth the cost. If it gets them any closer to keeping guns from American citizens, they are for it. Our country was founded on these principals and the globalists want to take these God given rights away.

  11. “the “88” figure was purposeful.”

    Yeah right, it was an excuse to get the number as massive as possible so he could get his enormous cut. Who really falls for this? There’s about 20 people in the world that know the meaning behind the “88” number, and most of them are undercover FBI or have a name that begin with a little d.

    “building generational wealth in these Black communities”

    …Because every black person that becomes a millionaire sticks around and gives back to their community? Paging Barack Obama…How much time does he spend in Chicago, spreading around his newfound wealth? Maxine Waters thinks she’s too good to live in the district she represents.

  12. “the “88” figure was purposeful.”

    Yeah right, it was an excuse to get the number as massive as possible so he could get his enormous cut. Who really falls for this? There’s about 20 people in the world that know the meaning behind the “88” number, and most of them are undercover FBI or have a name that begin with a lil’ deee.

    “building generational wealth in these Black communities”

    …Because every black person that becomes a millionaire sticks around and gives back to their community? Paging B. Obama…How much time does he spend in Chicago, spreading around his newfound wealth? M. Waters thinks she’s too good to live in the district she represents.

    • Beat the moderation system. I changed out the first name of Obama and Waters for initials, and I altered the spelling of small d. Weird.

    • “the “88” figure was purposeful.”

      yeah right. I’m sure they said something like “no no, we don’t want $100 million, we want $88 million”

      • They had to come with a reason that their astronomical figure couldn’t be refused. I mean, what sort of racist wouldn’t want to give the middle finger to the white supremacists? If they could find a special reason “100” was a “purposeful” number, then you better believe they would have used that. Plus 100 sounds very arbitrary. 88 sounds “purposeful.”

    • I love how they think every white person has gotten an inheritance. We just work hard, like other groups. They are basically getting money from lawsuits based on race. Not something to be proud of.

  13. So wrong on every level. Why are the American taxpayers being forced to pay for the actions of an insane idiot simply because he chose to murder several persons attending a public event. The reason this behavior continues is because the judicial system continues to refuse to hold those accountable for THEIR actions. Friggin insanity.

  14. “We’ve given a big ‘F you’ to white supremacy and racism,” Sellers told the AP. “

    I’m pretty sure the Christians who were killed in that church care little about the money.
    How unprofessional. How sick. How greedy.

    The settlement is a buyout from the Federal Government for allowing a criminal druggie to buy a gun. That in itself, the failure of the background check, is the root cause and full reason for the criminal act.

    Bottom line: Big Guv buys itself a face saving pass, and a greedy scumbag lawyer dances on the graves of victims. They deserve each other.

  15. It seems like now is the time to sue the Feds. The Feds will settle and give you most everything you want, unless it’s for a conservative cause. $88M for these victims. $450k for being a mistreated illegal under Trump. How much will a mistreated illegal under Biden get? $100k for having to live under a bridge? $500k for (NOT) being whipped by horsemen? Black groups should sue for reparations if they want a piece of the pie. Japanese groups could try again for WWII internment, etc. The Democrats are trying to turn greenbacks into monopoly money, so you might as well get while the getting it good.

    • Black people are getting reparations. Haven’t you been watching the news and reading? Free money and jobs everyplace based on skin color. I mean, banks , schools and corporations send me e- mails admitting this. Whites can’ t sue for anything though.

  16. Mass murder, testosterone deficiency, and blatant racism seem to be the incel’s creed…
    No really. Just look at their mug shots.

  17. Oh no….. this is just fine…… this is the way the courts should work…. just make up a racist NUMBER and sue for that amount….
    I feel SORRY for any company or individual who has to go to the kangaroo courts in defense of themselves against racists…. THEY WILL win in the new ghetto court….
    affirmative action at your service lol

  18. Generational wealth?

    Found money is usually gone as soon as its received. Generational wealth requires WORK to appreciate it and cultivate it.


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