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Press Release

ADL Welcomes Conviction of Dylann Roof for Charleston Massacre

New York, NY, December 15, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the conviction of white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof on federal murder, attempted murder and hate crime charges for the June 17, 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.

“We welcome the verdict and hope that it can bring some solace and comfort to the families and friends of the victims and the greater Charleston community,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.  “The shooting rampage at Emanuel AME Church evoked memories of the bombing that killed four black schoolgirls at a church in Birmingham, Alabama more than 50 years ago. This horrific crime was a reminder that hatred persists in our nation and, if left unchallenged, can lead to horrific consequences.”

ADL commended the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina for the successful prosecution of this case and its decision to bring charges under the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. Although these charges cannot add to the severity of Roof’s ultimate punishment, they are a profound recognition of the odious nature and impact of Roof’s crimes on an entire community and our nation.

During a prayer service at Emanuel AME Church, Roof opened fire, killing nine parishioners and injured one, including the senior pastor and a state senator. He faced 33 federal charges and was convicted on all of them. Roof had written a racist and anti-Semitic manifesto prior to carrying out the attack.

Early next year, the jury in this case will decide whether Roof will receive the death penalty for his murder convictions.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.