Statements released about Charleston church shooting

(WTVM) - Georgia NAACP statement on Charleston church mass shooting incident

Atlanta, GA – "The Georgia NAACP expresses profound sadness and renewed vigilance in the wake of the senseless apparent hate crime that claimed the life of Pastor and State Senator Clementa Pinckney and eight other citizens who gathered in prayer. Mother Emmanuel African American Methodist Church is a venerated house of worship founded during dark, difficult days in this Nation's founding. It endured despite slavery, Jim Crow, and it will survive this midnight as well, says Francys Johnson, State President of the Georgia NAACP and attorney from Statesboro.

The senselessly slain parishioners were in a church for Wednesday night bible study. There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture. Today I mourn as an AME minister, as a student and teacher of scripture, as well as a member of the NAACP, said Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO.

The Georgia NAACP supports the South Carolina NAACP and the Charleston Branch NAACP who stands in solidarity with the community to seek justice in this hate crime and encourage the FBI and the Department of Justice to fully investigate this disheartening situation."


DNC Chair Statement on Tragic Shooting in Charleston, SC

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on last night's tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina:

"Today, the nation mourns as we learn more about the harrowing shooting at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  As law enforcement continues its work and as the victims' families and community begin to heal, we are heartbroken and painfully reminded that our work is far from done. No one should ever have a reason to be afraid to go to their place of worship.  We must recommit to ensuring our communities are safe from senseless and hateful acts of violence."


Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC) responds to tragedy in South Carolina 

"Last night, we watched the world continue towards a downward spiral as the spirit of hate and ignorance invaded our ranks. Six women and three men, including South Carolina State Senator and church pastor, Clementa Pinckney, were gunned down during a weekly prayer meeting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church by the hands of a suspected young white male.

This tragic act is more than personal to me as it affects my heart on several levels. Serving currently as an AME minister, our church has been attacked, as a state elected official, my colleague has been slain and as a Black person in America, my life has been threatened.  The safety for African Americans in this country is rapidly becoming questionable as we have seen over and over.  Though God is not the creator of hatred, some of those that he created are.  We must heal from this inexplicable act through love, prayer and forgiveness.

As a West Columbia native, South Carolina has a special place in my heart. I pray that as the nation continues to watch this civil and social injustice unravel, we will finally begin to realize that racial hatred is more than an afterthought but is alive and real and we must be willing to stand up against it. I pray for healing for the families that are dealing with this horrible tragedy, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the people of Charleston, and for our nation as a whole."

The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus is the largest state black caucus in the nation with a membership of 61 members who represent over 3 million Georgians.

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