Families of nine of the Emanuel AME Church shooting victims have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the FBI because a clerical error allowed the gunman, Dylann Roof, to purchase the gun used in the church shooting.
The Post and Courier, reports the gunman, 22, should have been banned from purchasing the gun he used to kill during the Emanuel AME Church shooting because he had previously admitted to using illegal drugs. Since the federally-required background check was not completed within the three days the gun dealer has to wait for them, Dylann Roof was able to purchase a gun that he shouldn’t have, legally, been able to purchase.
After the three-day window passed in April of 2015, the owner at the West Columbia gun store sold Dylan a .45-caliber Glock. Authorities have confirmed, according to Washington Post, this is the same gun the gunman used to shoot and kill nine worshippers at the Emanuel’s Bible study in South Carolina two months after he originally purchased the gun.
“The victims’ civil suit against the FBI seeks to hold the government accountable to the law and demonstrate it’s not above the law,” says attorney Mullins McLeod, Jr., who is representing several of the South Carolina church shooting victims’ families.
Presently, South Carolina is one of the 36 states who rely on the FBI to run a background check to ensure the sale of a gun complies with both state and federal rules. However, as the lawsuit claims, the FBI failed to properly create and manage that database. The families of the South Carolina church shooting victims believe the shooting would not have happened if the database worked properly and a proper background check had been performed on Roof before he was able to purchase the gun. With these beliefs, the families of many of the victims of the South Carolina church shooting made the decision to sue the FBI.
Roughly a year ago, as seen in the YouTube video above, the families of the nine victims of the South Carolina church shooting spoke out to the gunman with surprising words of compassion. While some were struggling to deal with the loss of their loved ones, they claimed to forgive the gunman for what he had done.
While the families of the South Carolina church shooting victims may have found it in their hearts to forgive the gunman, they have made it clear they do not feel the same way about the FBI. With the lawsuit filed against the FBI by the South Carolina church shooting victims’ families, it begs the question – is the FBI to blame for the shooting? Could the shooting have been prevented if the database and background check requirement in place had done the job they were intended to do properly?
With this lawsuit, the families are not placing any of the blame on the South Carolina church shooter or the owner of the gun store where the gun was originally purchased. Those who lost a loved one during the South Carolina church shooting want the FBI to recognize the error made, own up to their mistakes, and take necessary steps to prevent the mistake from happening again.
According to The Post and Courier, the gross negligence and recklessness of the FBI is the reason Sharonda Coleman-Singleton suffered, died, and left her three young children without a mother.
Her three young children “have lost the services, security, companionship, comfort and joy of a loving mother and have deep wounded feelings and great grief and sorrow,” says a lawsuit filed by Shalisa Coleman, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton’s sister, on the behalf of her three young children.
It was late Thursday when the survivors and relatives filed the complaints under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows them to sue the federal government. With the complaints, the survivors and relatives impacted by the South Carolina church shooting are seeking both actual and compensatory damages.
Charleston church shooting victims sue FBI over 'federal negligence that enabled killer to purchase handgun' https://t.co/jmZSUClNzB— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) July 2, 2016
In addition to the nine relatives, there are also five survivors of the South Carolina church shooting who are filing similar claims against the FBI. Among the church shooting survivors filing a claim are Felicia Sanders and her granddaughter, who was only 11-years-old, when they played dead as their loved ones were gunned down around them.
The young child “was threatened with imminent death and sustained physical injuries” and “suffered permanent disability and will be required to expend sums of monies for treatment in addition to suffering a loss of enjoyment of life, deprived of the love and companionship of her uncle and great-aunt, and otherwise damaged,” according to the lawsuit.
Less than a month after the South Carolina church shooting originally occurred, FBI Director James Comey came forward to publicly admit the failure in checking Roof’s background within the three-day limit the gun store is required to wait. According to the FBI director, inaccurate and incomplete paperwork is the true cause.
Do you think the FBI should be blamed for the South Carolina church shooting? Should relatives of the victims and survivors receive compensation from the FBI for the shooting?
[Image via Shutterstock]