WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys and families of the nine men and women murdered in the Mother Emanuel AME Church Massacre in Charleston, SC today announced a landmark settlement with the United States Department of Justice surrounding the brutal mass shooting that sparked a national outcry in July 2015. Pending judicial approval, families of the victims, known collectively as the Charleston Nine, will receive $88 million marking what is believed to be the largest resolution of individual Civil Rights cases in United States history.
"On July 17, 2015, a white supremacist named Dylann Roof murdered nine men and women for no other reason than the color of their skin. Nothing can make up for that," said Bakari Sellers, an attorney with the Strom Law Firm representing families of the victims. "We only hope that today's announcement helps bring these families and our nation one step closer to closure."
Roof was sentenced to death for the killings in 2017 becoming the first person to receive the death penalty for federal hate crimes. His sentence was unanimously upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in August.
"I knew Senator Pinckney well. We were colleagues in the State Senate and he was a friend," said Sen. Gerald Malloy who represents the late Sen. Clementa C. Pinckney, Emanuel AME pastor and SC State Senator, in the wrongful death suit. Malloy also represents Pinckney's widow, Jennifer, and daughter, Malana, both of whom were in her husband's office at the time of the shooting. "None of us can imagine the trauma and loss the families and survivors have to live with and it is up to us to make sure nothing like this ever happens again."
SC State Senator Ronnie Sabb and Andy Savage, both attorneys for the victims and families, echoed the sentiments expressed at Wednesday's announcement, "This has been an ordeal for all the families and the nation," said Sabb. "We may heal but we will never forget."
"This has been a long road for these families and survivors," said attorney Mullins McLeod. "But the long road of history always bends toward justice."
Known collectively as the Charleston Nine, the victims include: The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr., Myra Thompson and The Honorable Senator Clementa C. Pinckney.
The law firms representing the families and survivors include: The Malloy Law Firm, the Strom Law Firm, McGowan, Hood and Felder Law Firm, Savage Law Firm, McLeod Law Firm, Harpootlian Attorneys at Law, The Law Offices of Gedney M. Howe, Nelson Mullins, Carl Pearce, Ronnie Sabb and Steve Schmutz.
SOURCE Strom Law Firm, LLC