ADL Lauds Federal Hate Crime Indictment for Charleston Emanuel AME Church Murders

New York, NY, July 22, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the Department of Justice for bringing federal hate crime charges against Dylann Storm Roof for the horrific bias-motivated murder of nine parishioners during a prayer meeting at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17.

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL National Director, and Mark Moskowitz, ADL Southeast Regional Director, issued the following statement:

We welcome the announcement that the Justice Department will move forward with federal hate crime charges against Roof, the alleged murderer.

We know that law enforcement authorities in South Carolina are vigorously pursuing criminal charges against Roof for murder, attempted murder, and firearms charges. But South Carolina is one of five states in the nation without a hate crime law, and a prosecution of these murders that fails to take into account the clear bias motivation behind the murders would be incomplete.

The nature of the shootings, the specific location, the targeted victims, statements allegedly made by the suspect, and all the evidence that has emerged about the alleged murderer’s embrace of white supremacist ideology all indicate this tragedy was motivated by racial bias. It is incredibly important to be able to call a crime what it is and to be able to pursue justice on those specific grounds.

In the aftermath of the Charleston shooting, ADL issued a comprehensive report looking at the state of white supremacy in the United States in 2015.