We are emotionally devastated following the horrific terrorist act against the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina that left nine dead and the Black community reeling.
In the wake of the tragedy, civil rights activist Al Sharpton released this statement:
“I am shocked and outraged about the killing of nine innocent people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. What has our society come to when people in a prayer meeting in the sacred halls of a church can be shot in what is deemed a possible hate crime?
“The Pastor of the church, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, worked closely with our National Action Network Chapter leader and our Vice President of Religious Affairs, Rev. Nelson Rivers. It is chilling to me that just over two months ago while I was in North Charleston over the police shooting of Walter Scott, I’m reminded that Rev. Pinckney was among the clergy who stood with me at that occasion and now he has fallen victim to senseless violence.
“We must do what we can to apprehend the killer and we must support the families involved in this tragedy. Demagoguery, increasing tension, and talk of violence will only make a mockery of what we face.”
Sharpton called for a National Day of Prayer & Healing in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre. Stay tuned and updated with NAN on the ground in Charleston, SC. at www.nationalactionnetwork.net.
President Obama addressed the nation earlier today, expressing his anger and sadness. “I’ve had to make comments like this too many times,” he said. “Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.”
The suspect, Dylann Roof, 21 is in custody.