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In 2015, the Department of Justice reached an agreement with the families of those killed in a church shooting in Charleston

In the Charleston, South Carolina shooting that took the lives of nine parishioners, the Justice Department and its victims’ families have reached an agreement for $88 million.

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Credit: Timothy Eberly

In the Charleston, South Carolina shooting that took the lives of nine parishioners, the Justice Department and its victims’ families have reached an agreement for $88 million.

Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old black man, fatally shot nine members of Mother Emanuel AME Church during a Bible study session in 2015 as they prayed. A few days after the murders, he confessed and revealed that he wanted to start a racial war. It has been revealed that the system used by the FBI to conduct background checks failed to stop the sale of the firearm Roof used in the shooting. So the survivors and families of the victims have filed a lawsuit against the agency.

In Lexington County, South Carolina, Roof was previously arrested on felony drug charges, NBC News reports. A sheriff’s office agent provided the FBI examiner conducting the background check with Columbia Police contact information. However, the FBI database revealed that the Lexington County Police Department did not have any arrest records for Roof. According to the FBI, the examiner also contacted the county prosecutor in Lexington County but did not hear back. The gun that Roof purchased just two months before the massacre was obtained in a Columbia shopping mall after he had passed the three-day waiting period for purchasing it.

Roof was sentenced to death in 2017 for 33 hate crime counts for the shootings, making him the first person in the United States to be executed for these crimes.

Merrick Garland, attorney general of the United States, stated: “The mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church was an apocalyptic hate crime that caused incalculable grief to the families of the victims.” Since the shooting, the Department of Justice has worked to bring justice to the community, first via civil claims and now via a successful hate crime conviction.”

The eighty eight million settlement will be split between 63 million dollars going to the families of the victims and twenty five million dollars going to survivors.

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