Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Unsealed court documents show testimony from Dylann Roof’s friends, allege possible second target

Coworker says Roof identified as a racist

Posted by Dustin Waters on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 1:18 PM

click to enlarge Security camera footage shows Dylann Roof entering Mother Emanuel on the night of the shooting - FILE
  • File
  • Security camera footage shows Dylann Roof entering Mother Emanuel on the night of the shooting
Recently unsealed court documents provide a closer look at how those who knew Dylann Roof viewed the avowed white supremacist in the time leading up to the racially motivated shootings at Emanuel AME Church.

In an interview with FBI agents just days following the shooting, Roof’s former coworkers described the gunman as largely “keeping to himself,” preferring to sit alone during lunch instead of with his fellow employees at Clark’s Pest Control in Irmo, S.C. One of Roof’s former coworkers recalled Roof offering to show him the pistol he had recently purchased with money given to him by his father. The man said he told Roof not to bring the pistol to work.

“Roof had mentioned the only reason he worked is because his dad made him,” the man told investigators.

Another former coworker recalled a time when a fellow employee “made some racist joke,” after which Roof stated that he was a racist. Roof also told the man that he would like to one day get a job as a clerk or someone in the retail field, but no one would hire him due to the way he looks.

Jacob Meek, whose brother Joey will face a sentencing hearing next month for misleading federal agents, spoke with investigators in July 2015. After falling out of touch, Roof began spending time with members of the Meek family leading up to the shooting at Mother Emanuel. Meek told agents that he didn’t recall Roof making any racial comments during that period, but he did recall Roof voicing anger that “Hitler lost power and he went out in a coward way” by committing suicide. According to Meek, Roof insisted on keeping his number of Facebook friends at 88, a symbolic number among white supremacists representing “Heil Hitler” due to the H’s position as the eight letter in the alphabet. Meek also told authorities that Roof was disappointed that “white people were no longer in control and that everyone had power now.”

On the day before the shooting in Charleston, Roof drove Meek, his brother, and a friend to the beach at Lake Murray near Columbia. During their drive to the lake, Meek was told by Roof not to “mess with” the black bag in the floorboard of the car, saying that the bag contained magazines for Roof’s gun. Dropping everyone off, Roof told the group that he was going to see a movie alone. This was the last time Meek saw Roof before he murdered nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME.

A recently unsealed motion from federal prosecutors states that evidence collected from Roof’s GPS shows that he traveled to another predominantly African-American church immediately after leaving Mother Emanuel. Driving away from the church, Roof traveled for 20 miles along I-26 to Branch AME Church in Summerville. Roof was apprehended the following day in Shelby, N.C.

“The similarities between the two churches — both are AME churches, both have predominantly African-American congregations, and both had scheduled Bible study classes on the night of the attack — coupled with the fact that defendant, who was still armed, drove over 20 miles directly to Branch AME Church immediately after attacking parishioners at Emanuel AME Church, supports the inference that defendant intended to continue his racially motivated violence at Branch AME Church that night and, more specifically, that his intended targets were African-American congregants at the church,” prosecutors wrote last September.

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