Jurors in Charleston, South Carolina, found Dylann Roof guilty this afternoon (December 15) of all charges for killing nine Black parishioners at the city’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last year. Roof, who demonstrated White supremacist beliefs, faced 33 federal charges, including hate crimes and weapons offenses.
Charleston’s The Post and Courier reports that the three Black and nine White federal jurors deliberated for two hours before delivering guilty verdicts for each charge. About 50 survivors and family members of those murdered sat in the courtroom as the jury foreman read the verdict. CNN reports that jurors asked to re-watch video of Roof’s confession to FBI agents during today’s deliberations.
They were particularly interested in a part where he wasn’t sure how many people he killed. They heard arguments and testimony over the last week, including a witness whose son was killed. The jurors also watched video of Roof laughing after he admitted to the massacre. Roof did not testify.
The University of California, Santa Barbara, has established a visiting professorship to honor Ella Baker, a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and its network of Freedom Schools. Baker was born in 1903, the granddaughter of slaves. She was the valedictorian of the Class of 1927 at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. She joined the NAACP in 1940 as a field secretary and then served as director of branches. She later move the Atlanta to help organize Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Baker died in 1986.
The first holder of the Ella Baker Visiting Professorship is Shana Redmond, an associate professor of American and ethnic studies at the University of Southern California. While at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she will teach, lecture, conduct research, and produce a special edition of the BLST Review.
“Shana Redmond perfectly fits our expectations for the Ella Baker Visiting Professor,” said Jeffrey Stewart, professor and chair of Black studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “She is very enthusiastic about working with undergraduates. Indeed, her personal embrace of the spirit of the Ella Baker Professorship and her sense of the larger possibilities of collaboration with students that the professorship embodies made her a clear choice for the position.”