Target: James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Goal: Charge suspect in attack on historic black church with terrorism.
The murders of nine black people in the attack against a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina is not being investigated as an act of terrorism, even though the suspect reportedly stated explicitly that he wanted to start a race war. We need to stop beating around the bush and call this massacre for what it was. Demand that the FBI investigate this crime as an act of domestic terrorism.
Thankfully, many have been using the word “terrorism” to describe this recent attack. FBI Director James Comey seems to disagree with this assessment of the crime, though. In a press conference he gave on the subject, he had this to say: “Terrorism is act of violence done or threatened in order to try to influence a public body or the citizenry, so it’s more of a political act—and again based on what I know so more I don’t see it as a political act.”
There are a number of reasons why refusing to label this massacre a political attack is utterly incorrect. For one, it’s being reported that the person being charged with it, Dylann Storm Roof, has explicitly stated that his goal was to incite a race war between white people and black people. Secondly, what we know of the attack suggests that Roof was looking to specifically assassinate the prominent state politician and civil rights activist Clementa Pinckney during the course of his massacre—it’s been reported that Roof chose to target the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church because he knew Pinckney was its leader.
There seems to be overwhelming evidence that this massacre was intended to be a political act, and as a result it needs to be recognized as an act of terror. Sign the petition below to demand that Director Comey change his tune and investigate this attack as terrorism.
Dear Director Comey,
I am writing you today regarding your recent announcement that the FBI investigation into the massacre on South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is not treating it as a terrorist attack due to lack of evidence that it was “a political act.” I am astounded that the FBI would take such a stance with the amount of evidence that’s been collected that suggests this was intended from the start to be an act of terror.
You have said that you aren’t treating it as a terrorist attack because there is nothing suggesting that it was political in nature. This is ridiculous. Roof, the man being charged with the crime, has reportedly expressly stated that he wanted to start a race war. He also apparently specifically targeted a prominent black politician’s church. In addition to wanting to massacre as many black people as possible, Roof apparently took special care to assassinate a black political leader.
Despite what you said, there seems to be overwhelming evidence that this attack was a political act. You need to recognize that and act accordingly. I demand that you investigate this crime as the act of terrorism it so clearly was.
[Your Name Here]
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