(FreedomBeacon.com)- The Department of Justice and the families of the nine people who attended church in Charleston, South Carolina, who were slain six years back have reached a settlement on lawsuits they filed against the federal government.
The total settlement amount is $88 million. The churchgoers were shot by Dylann Roof, who was a white supremacist by his own admission.
The nine people were attending a church service at night at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Roof entered the church and shoot inside.
There were 14 plaintiffs in the series of lawsuits that were filed against the FBI by the families of the people who were killed. The lawsuits claimed the FBI was negligent because Roof shouldn’t have been allowed to purchase a gun.
Roof had a felony charge against him when he filed for a gun license in South Carolina. The FBI’s background check should’ve picked up on the charge, but they never did.
That allowed Roof to purchase a Glock 41, which he then used only two months after he purchased it to shoot inside the historically Black church.
The DOJ said that the survivors in the case will receive a settlement of $5 million each. The families of the people who were killed in the church will receive an amount that ranges between $6 million and $7.5 million.
In announcing the settlement, Merrick Garland, the U.S. attorney general, said:
“The mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church was a horrific hate crime that caused immeasurable suffering for the families of the victims and the survivors. Since the day of the shooting, the Justice Department has sought to bring justice to the community, first by a successful hate crime prosecution and today by settling civil claims.”
The daughter of one of the people who was killed, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, said that the settlement the DOJ agreed to and the fact that they were so aggressive in pursuing hate crime charges against Roof, is allowing the country to move the needle forward a bit in acknowledging the racism that’s still prevalent in the country.
“For the first time, I think, in so long … as a young African American woman to see the government acknowledge the fact that racism still exists and how prevalent it is in our community and then actively try to combat it in every way that they can and to acknowledge that gun violence is an issue and to do everything they can to correct a mistake … is so important.”
Four years ago, Roof decided to plead guilty to the nine counts of murder that were brought against him, along with a weapons charge and three additional counts of attempted murder. He allegedly spent months planning the attack on the church.
Roof was sentenced to be executed for committing a federal hate crime, the first person in history who has received that sentence.
This August, he lost an appeal of both his sentence and conviction.