12:29 GMT30 November 2020
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    Charleston shooter Dylann Roof pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges, US media reported.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, who killed nine African-Americans on June 17, has pleaded not guilty, local media reported on Friday.

    Roof pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges, Live5News reported.

    On June 17, Roof shot dead nine African-Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopalian Church in Charleston. He reportedly shouted racist remarks before opening fire on the congregation.

    On July 22, the US Department of Justice handed Roof 33 federal charges that make him eligible for the death penalty or life imprisonment.

    Following the fatal shooting of the African-American churchgoers, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for Roof to face the death penalty.

    The incident also sparked a national debate around the removal of the Confederate flag, symbolic of America’s slave owning past, and prompted South Carolina to remove the flag from its Capitol grounds shortly afterwards.

    Related:

    Charleston Shooter Indicted on US Federal Hate Crime Charges - Attorney
    FBI: Failed Background Check System Allowed Charleston Killer to Buy Gun
    Tags:
    court, hate crimes, Dylann Roof, South Carolina, Charleston, US
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