Justice Department Reaches $88 Million Settlement In Dylann Roof Massacre Case

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Jack Kerley Contributor
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The Justice Department announced Thursday the reaching of a $88 million settlement with the families and survivors of the 2015 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

Twenty-five million dollars will go to the five survivors and $63 million will go to the families of the nine people killed by Dylann Roof the shooting, reported The Associated Press.

“The ’88’ figure was purposeful. It’s a number typically associated with white supremacy and the number of bullets Roof said he had taken with him to the attack,” Bakari Sellers, the attorney that brokered the deal told the AP. (RELATED: Dylann Roof, Who Committed Mass Murder At Black Church, Has Death Sentence Upheld By Federal Court)

“We’ve given a big ‘F you’ to white supremacy and racism,” Sellers said to the AP.

“88 is a weird number, because it’s enveloped in so much hate. Dylann Roof had 88 on his shoes,” Sellers said, according to HuffPost. “88” is said to numerical code for white supremacists to reference “Heil Hitler,” according to the Anti Defamation League’s Hate Symbol Database, with H being the 8th letter in the alphabet.

The lawsuit, filed in 2016, accused the FBI of failing to run the appropriate background checks which allowed Roof to legally purchase the handgun from Shooters Choice in West Columbia despite felony arrests, according to NBC News.

“A horrific hate crime that caused immeasurable suffering for the families of the victims and the survivors,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement following the settlement, reported NPR.

“They can’t bring my father back… But they’re doing whatever they can to acknowledge the fact that this hurts. This is pain that I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life,” Eliana Pinckney, the daughter of the pastor killed at the church in 2015, said in a press conference.

The nine people killed in the shooting include the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Cynthia Graham Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Tywanza Sanders, 26; the Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74; the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45; Ethel Lance, 70; and Myra Thompson, 59, reported NPR.

Dylann Roof is on death row in the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, according to NBC News.