US $ 88 million settlement with families of victims of mass shootings at Charleston Church | news

COLUMBIA, SC – The federal government will pay a total of $ 88 million to settle a case filed by the families and survivors of the nine victims of the Charleston church shooting, murdered by a white nationalist in 2015.

The entire settlement was upheld Thursday by Charleston’s attorney Carl Pierce, whose law firm represented one of the people murdered at Mother Emanuel Church, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.

Individual settlements for all victims of the shooting were filed in the U.S. District Court in Columbia Thursday morning. It was approved by the US Department of Justice.

The settlement came about five years after the murder of the historic Mother Emanuel Church in June 2015 through complaints from victims and their families. Convicted shooter Dylann Roof was found guilty in federal court in January 2017 and sentenced to death.

The lawsuits alleged that the FBI, which was mandated to investigate handgun buyers, acted negligently when the agency conducted a background check of Roof, who had just turned 21.

According to federal law, gun buyers must undergo a computer background check at the state-licensed gun dealer.

Roof took advantage of what critics call a legal weakness – the so-called “Charleston Loophole” – to buy the .45 caliber Glock pistol, which he used to kill all nine people with the money he gave from his father his 21st birthday had received evidence in the case said.

Under that law, guns sellers can sell firearms to a buyer after three days, regardless of whether the FBI’s background check is completed. If a person is charged with a crime, the gun shop must deny the buyer that purchase.

In Roof’s case, he was charged with drug-related crimes, but the FBI was unable to find this through his searches of police databases.

After three days, the Roof gun shop sold the gun.

As part of the agreement announced on Thursday, the Justice Department admitted no guilt.

Dozens of attorneys, many from South Carolina, helped settle the case. Judge Margaret Seymour chaired the meeting.

The names of the churchgoers killed and their relatives suing the government include the late Senator Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Rev Daniel Simmons Sr. and Myra Thompson.

The victims ‘family members’ lawsuits were initially dismissed in a lower federal court in South Carolina. The government had claimed immunity from such lawsuits.

However, in August 2019, the plaintiffs won a huge victory when the majority of a three-judge panel of the 4th

The “loophole” attracted a lot of attention in the weeks following the June 2015 shootings.

Then former FBI director James Comey made a public statement explaining that Roof was banned from possession of a firearm under federal law when he bought the semi-automatic pistol he used in the attacks for negligence in the National Instant Criminal Background only Check system bought by the FBI.

“Dylann Roof, the alleged murderer of so many innocent people in the Emanuel AME Church, shouldn’t have bought the gun he allegedly used that evening,” Comey said.

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