Funerals in Charleston for slain members of black church
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (AP) — Funerals for three more victims of a deadly shooting during a Bible study group in South Carolina were held Saturday at the historic black church where they were killed.
The services for Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders and Susie Jackson were at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, 11 days after a gunman entered the church and opened fire on a Bible study group. Police contend the attack was racially motivated.
Attendees included South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and civil rights leaders.
The funerals follow one Friday for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, whose eulogy was delivered by President Barack Obama.
The nation’s first black president called for gun control and efforts to eliminate poverty and job discrimination, and said the Confederate battle flag — long a symbol of Southern pride — must be removed from places of honor.
A woman was arrested early Saturday on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol in Columbia after scaling a flagpole to rip down a Confederate flag that flew at the Statehouse. Bree Newsome, 30, was arrested immediately afterward and later released.
The 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, who is charged with nine murders, embraced Confederate symbols before the attack, posing with the rebel battle flag and burning the U.S. flag in photos.
Collins and Bruce Smith reported from Columbia, South Carolina. Associated Press Writers Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.