Jun 18, 2015, 02:05 ET
WASHINGTON, June 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leaders from the largest union representing federal and D.C. government employees today expressed their profound grief for the victims of last night's deadly shooting at an historic black church in downtown Charleston, S.C.
American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr., National Secretary-Treasurer Eugene Hudson Jr., and National Vice President for Women's and Fair Practices Augusta Y. Thomas said the mass killing of nine churchgoers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is yet another painful reminder that a culture of violence continues to permeate our nation's communities.
"Until we learn to treat each other with respect, compassion and dignity, we are doomed to repeat this vicious and senseless cycle of human-on-human violence that has taken its toll on too many communities already," the AFGE leaders said in a joint statement.
"By all accounts, the women and men who were gathered at Emanuel AME Church for their weekly Bible study welcomed into their group the young man who would later turn his gun on them in a brutal act of racial hatred.
"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims and to the entire community. We at AFGE headquarters will be gathering together this afternoon for a moment of reflection and contemplation, and we encourage other employers to allow their workers to do the same.
"Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the law enforcement officers who worked diligently to bring the suspected gunman to justice.
"Today is a sad day for all Americans, but our hope is that we as a nation can come together in our grief and strengthen the human bonds that tie us all together."
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
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SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees
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