Dylann Roof Indicted On Federal Hate Crime Charges
In a 16-page federal grand jury indictment, Dylann Roof, the 21-year old who killed 9 people in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, has been indicted on 33 counts of federal charged, including hate crimes, firearms violations, and obstructing the practice of religion.
U.S. Attorney General Lorette Lynch announced the charges yesterday. The federal charges are in addition to the state murder charges. The Justice Department has not decided whether it will seek the death penalty against Roof, nor whether its prosecution will come prior to the state’s case.
South Carolina does not have a state hate-crime law. AG Lynch stated that the federal charges were needed to adequately deal with a defendant that “decided to seek out and murder African-Americans because of their race.”
The federal grand jury’s indictment accuses Roof of planning the murderous attack on Blacks because of their race and wanting to carry out violence in a Black church.
The indictment describes Roof’s use of a personal manuscript in which he decried racial integration, used racial slurs to refer to Blacks and disparaged them as inferior to Whites. Prosecutors believe he planned for months to increase racial tensions throughout the country and seek retribution for perceived wrongs he thought had been committed against White people.
“The parishioners had Bibles. Dylann Roof had his .45-caliber Glock pistol, and eight magazines loaded with hollow-point bullets.”