Remarks as delivered
Good morning. Before we begin today’s announcement, I want to take a moment to address the heartbreaking and deeply tragic events at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina – a crime that has reached into the heart of that community. The Department of Justice has opened a hate crime investigation into this shooting incident. The FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office are working closely with our state and local partners, and we stand ready to offer every resource, every means and every tool that we possess in order to locate and apprehend the perpetrator of this barbaric crime. Acts like this one have no place in our country. They have no place in a civilized society. And I want to be clear: the individual who committed these unspeakable acts will be found and will face justice.
As we move forward, my thoughts and prayers – and those of our entire law enforcement community, here at the Department of Justice and around the country – are with the families and loved ones of the victims in Charleston. Even as we struggle to comprehend this heartbreaking event, I want everyone in Charleston – and everyone who has been affected by this tragedy – to know that we will do everything in our power to help heal this community and make it whole again.
I encourage the people of Charleston and the wider area to continue circulating the photos of the alleged perpetrator and report any tip, no matter how minor, to the tip line, which can be reached at 1-800-CALL-FBI.