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On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that Dylann Storm Roof — the domestic terrorist behind the Charleston Church Massacre — has been charged with federal hate crimes. "Hate crimes, as I have stated before, are the originator of domestic terrorism,” Lynch said during the announcement. Roof received a total of 33 charges and is currently being held without parole.
On June 17, Roof brutally murdered nine people — three men, six women — at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The massacre reignited the national debates surrounding the use of the Confederate flag in South Carolina (and elsewhere) and the desperate need for gun control reform all across the country.
Immediately after the massacre, Roof's deep-rooted affiliations with white supremacist groups came to light — spurring the aforementioned Confederate flag debate to greater heights, heights which eventually led to the Nazi backup flag's removal from South Carolina's capitol grounds.