CHARLESTON, South Carolina — President Barack Obama delivered a rousing eulogy for a black man who was among nine who were slain at an African-American church in South Carolina last week.
The first black president of the United States was in Charleston on Friday to eulogize the victims of a mass shooting at a historic African-American church, a tragedy that one civil rights activist said was a sign of “how far yet” the nation has to go to put racial tensions behind it.
“The nation shares in your grief,” Obama said Friday during a eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41, who was shot and killed during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Eight others also died.
“What a good man,” Obama said. “What an example he set.”
Obama received enthusiastic applause and several standing ovations from the crowd of more than 5,000 mourners. He also called for an end to the display of the Confederate flag. The shooting suspect was seen in photos displaying the flag.
“By taking down that flag, we express God’s grace,” he said.
Thousands of mourners heard President Barack Obama pay tribute to the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and eight parishioners of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The nine were shot dead at the church during a Bible study session last week in what authorities are investigating as a racially motivated attack.
The first two funerals for victims were held Thursday amid tight security, with attendees including national civil rights leaders and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
The funerals began as the debate over the Confederate flag and other Old South symbols continued around the region. A growing number of leading politicians said Civil War symbols should be removed from places of honor, despite their role as elements of Southern identity.
Haley started the move against Confederate icons Monday by successfully calling on South Carolina lawmakers to debate taking down the Confederate battle flag flying in front of the Statehouse. Then Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, also a conservative Republican, brought down four secessionist flags at the Capitol there.
Some authorities have worried openly about a backlash as people take matters into their own hands.
“Black Lives Matter” was spray-painted on a monument to Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday, only the latest statue to be defaced.
The shooting suspect, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos with a Confederate license plate, waving a Confederate flag, burning and desecrating U.S. flags on a website created in his name months before the attacks.
Attorney Boyd Young, who represents Roof’s family, issued a statement saying they will answer questions later, but want to allow the victims’ families to grieve. “We feel it would be inappropriate to say anything at this time other than that we are truly sorry for their loss,” the statement said.
Story from the The Associated Press.
Fred Burton on domestic terrorism
The confessed shooter that gunned that pastor in South Carolina and eight others down physically wore symbols of hate on his clothing and car. Including the confederate flag. So we wanted to take a closer look at that lone wolf mentality which can lead to domestic terrorism. CCTV America’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Fred Burton, Texas by Global Intelligence Analyst.
Fred Burton on the domestic terrorismThe confessed shooter that gunned that pastor in South Carolina and eight others down physically wore symbols of hate on his clothing and car. Including the confederate flag. So we wanted to take a closer look at that lone wolf mentality which can lead to domestic terrorism. CCTV America's Elaine Reyes spoke to Fred Burton, Texas by Global Intelligence Analyst.
Obama eulogizes pastor in Charleston shooting
The President of the United States delivered a eulogy for a pastor killed in a massacre at a historic South Carolina church. And he used the opportunity to make the address about more than just the life of Reverend Clementa Pinckney. CCTV’s Jim Spellman filed this report.