Roof, the twenty something old racist from South Carolina, was indicted in the killing of none black church goers. If convicted, the self admitted killer can receive life in prison or the death penalty.
Roof faces a total of 33 federal charges, including firearms charges, for the June 17 murders and attempted murders at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the United States Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.
The hate crime charges are meant to address the radical racial motivations of the crime, according to the DOJ, which Roof allegedly laid out in an online manifesto.
“As set forth in the indictment, several months prior to the tragic events of June 17, Roof conceived of his goal of increasing racial tensions throughout the nation and seeking retribution for perceived wrongs he believed African Americans had committed against white people,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in prepared statement on Wednesday. “To carry out these twin goals of fanning racial flames and exacting revenge, Roof further decided to seek out and murder African Americans because of their race. An essential element of his plan, however, was to find his victims inside of a church, specifically an African-American church, to ensure the greatest notoriety and attention to his actions.”