Dylann Roof rose to worldwide notoriety last summer — that’s when the young white man opened fire in a historically African-American South Carolina church, killing nine worshipers. Roof was arrested soon after the deadly mass shooting, which took place on June 17, 2015. He is currently in jail awaiting trial for his crimes, crimes so unthinkable that the prosecution in the case is seeking the death penalty. From the beginning, Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, admitted that the South Carolina church shooting was racially motivated, and he has yet to apologize for allegedly brutally slaying nine parishioners at the historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Roof has been incarcerated in a protective custody-type situation at the Stafford County Jail, reports MSN News, and until last week has been protected from the wrath of his fellow inmates, inmates who reportedly have a problem with the brutal and senseless nature of Dylann Roof’s South Carolina church shooting spree. One of those fellow inmates, Dwayne Stafford, an African-American who was also incarcerated in the jail’s “special management unit,” was apparently just biding his time until he got the opportunity to mete out his own brand of justice to accused South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof.
According to reports, Dwayne Stafford had endured some brief interaction with Dylann Roof after he and the South Carolina church shooter found themselves in the same unit of the county jail. Stafford, age 25, was reportedly in jail pending trial for strong armed robbery and assault and battery charges. Stafford said he couldn’t afford the $100,000 bond that that had been set by the judge in the case. He also stands by his claim that he is innocent of the allegations against him.
He says that the police arrested the wrong guy.
According to an interview given by Stafford, South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof became an instant pariah the moment he arrived at the county jail. Roof was allegedly heckled and harassed by other inmates from day one, but protected by the system and jail guards. Stafford said that initially, he made small talk with Dylann Roof through the cell doors.
The whole while, though, Dylann Roof’s alleged crimes were fresh in Stafford’s mind.
“I’d say, ‘What’s up man,’ and he’d come to the cell door smiling like I’m his friend. But the whole time I’m looking at him like, you couldn’t find nothing else to do with your life? I didn’t know I was going to get him but it was more of a ‘you know what you did’ type thing.”
Tensions quickly rose between Dylann Roof and his fellow inmate, according to Stafford, tensions that stemmed from the South Carolina church shooter’s alleged plans to incite a race war. Dwayne Stafford said that Dylann Roof even insulted Stafford’s recently-deceased father, which ended up being the last straw.
“I wouldn’t say it’s justice, but I felt as if I did the right thing.”
From that point forward, Dylann Roof’s fellow inmate spent his long hours of incarceration biding his time and waiting for his opportunity to strike back against the self-proclaimed white supremacist. Stafford got his chance on August 4, according to reports and his own words. That’s when a set of opportune circumstances made it possible for him to sneak out of his cell and physically assault the unguarded Dylann Roof while he showered.
@papermagazine Dwayne Stafford is just a fkn loser! He's a criminal FFS in jail for foul shit himself. I hope he gets charged 4 hate crime!— All Lives Matter (@RebeccaAshby) August 11, 2016
@kennithstephan - So Kennith, you are Pro-church murder!? I don't want to misquote here. Are you advocating MORE church murder? ????— dl Hopkins (@dlhop) August 12, 2016
Stafford says that on that Thursday morning, a jail guard improperly shut his cell door, causing it not to latch or lock. After the guard walked away to escort Dylann Roof to the jail showers, Dwayne Stafford followed soon after. When Stafford got to the jail showers, South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof was showering alone — the jail official who was supposed to be guarding him had walked away to tend to another inmate. Stafford jumped on the opportunity, pummeling the nude Dylann Roof until he was bloody and curled up in a ball on the shower floor.
News of Dylann Roof’s county jail beating hit the Internet soon after the incident occurred, and the result has been a slew of positive changes in Dwayne Stafford’s life. The South Carolina church shooter’s attacker became the beneficiary of social justice advocates and activists who began working on raising the funds to pay his $100,000 bond. Strangers who supported his beat down of Dylann Roof began to add money to his jail books.
Because the public so appreciated Stafford’s prison beating of Dylann Roof, the incarcerated African-American man soon found himself represented by attorney Marvin Pendarvis, who promised Dwayne Stafford that he would immediately do everything in his power to get him released from the county jail pending his upcoming trial.
Dwayne Stafford is a free man after over 100K in online donations for beating Dylan Roof in a SC prison. pic.twitter.com/s8kEv6Yz3s— dl Hopkins (@dlhop) August 6, 2016
The next day, with the help of community activists, random citizens, his new attorney and a sympathetic bail bondsman, Dwayne Stafford found himself a free man for the first time in 571 days.
“I took my first steps out of jail and I felt secure.”
Contrary to some reports, Stafford didn’t receive $100,000 in donations. Rather, he found a bail bondsman who was willing to give him some financial leniency.
Stafford was reportedly homeless before his incarceration, but because he beat up South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof in a jailhouse shower, when he was released from jail, he found himself on the receiving end of a massive amount of community support. That support has ensured that Stafford now has a roof over his head, food, clothing, and legal representation.
What do you think? Does Dwayne Stafford truly deserve the outpouring of support he’s received for beating up a fellow inmate? Or does rewarding the man who beat South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof bloody send the wrong message?
[Photo by Pool/Getty Images]