Dwayne Stafford, a black inmate who attacked mass shooter Dylann Roof in jail, is now speaking about the violent incident for the first time. Stafford was able to post his $100,000 bail thanks to the donations by individuals who learned about his story via a crowdsourcing website.
The 26-year-old Dwayne Stafford sat down with the Black Collective after an “anti-discrimination” group reportedly deposited the bail money into his online account.
Stafford said he started to chat with Dylann Roof in an attempt to understand why he opened fire on 12 innocent black Christians inside a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina. Three individuals, two women and an 11-year-old girl, survived the mass shooting.
Dwayne Stafford said he ran out of his cell and began beating Roof while the 21-year-old was in the jailhouse shower earlier this month. Roof was not significantly injured, but did have bruises about his upper body.
Stafford said the entire incident unfolded “like in the movies when a girl in the shower gets startled,” according to a Daily Mail report.
Dylann Roof did not press charges on Dwayne Stafford after the attack.
— PAPER Magazine (@papermagazine) August 6, 2016
Here’s an excerpt from Dwayne Stafford’s comments about the Dylann Roof attack.
“He said something like, ‘I thought I killed the girl, the little girl, but they was like she didn’t get killed,’ and I was like ‘No, you didn’t get her. She played dead on you from what I heard.’ That’s when I gave him the smart aleck, saying like you so bad but you let that child get off on you. That’s basically how I felt, like, ‘You’re a [expletive]’ I didn’t say that but I gave him the smart aleck.”
Roof fired off 77 rounds during the brutal church shooting in South Carolina, the Charleston Post and Courier notes.
Dwayne Stafford claimed he was the first inmate in the jail to actually speak to Dylann Roof. He also said after their initial conversation, the white supremacist and the black man talked regularly.
“I basically approached him in a way like, ‘What’s goin’ on with you?’ like, ‘You couldn’t find nothing else better to do?’ I can’t say he deserved to die because I’m not a judge but I had the power to bust his a**,” Stafford also said.
Because their initial talks were “peaceful,” Stafford said the correctional officers at the jail did not think he was a threat to Roof, so the two were allowed to continue having conversations.
— Rickey Smiley (@RickeySmiley) August 7, 2016
A social justice activist visited Dwayne Stafford in jail after learning he had spent 517 days behind bars without ever going to trial to be brought up on charges.
Marvin Pendarvis, of the Curry Law Firm, is representing the black man who beat Dylann Roof. According to the attorney, Stafford has been attempting to find gainful employment since being released from jail.
“Unfortunately, he’s homeless. We’ve been able to set him up with some temporary housing and we’re working on trying to find something that’s more long-term but when he got out and when he was released, he had nowhere to go,” Pendarvis said. “My representation of him in no way condones violence toward anyone.”
Pendarvis and the Black Collective created the online fundraising page so interested individuals could donate funds to bail him out of jail and to help pay his legal fees.
Dwayne Stafford was reportedly charged with strong-arm robbery, providing false information to police officers, and first-degree assault.
[Photo by Centralized Bond Hearing Court / AP Photo]