Dylann Roof, the young man accused of shooting and killing nine black people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, may have had racial motives.
According to CNN, law enforcement claims that witnesses quoted Roof as saying that he was at the church "to shoot black people."
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was scheduled to talk about his 2016 presidential campaign on "The View" this morning, but much of the show was about the shooting in his home state (video below).
Graham revealed that his niece had gone to school with Roof, whom he described as a "strange, disturbed young man."
Graham later added, "And this guy has got tons of problems. And to kill people in a church after sitting there with them for an hour tells you how whacked out this kid is.”
Graham also stated, "I can’t explain this. I don’t know what would make a young man at 21 get so sick and twisted to kill nine people in a church, this is beyond my understanding.”
Later, Graham said: "There are real people out there who are organized to kill people in religion and based on race. This guy is just whacked out. But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill, so this is a mean time we live in.”
However, Graham had a much different reaction about Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was part of an attack that killed three people.
Like Roof, Tsarnaev is a U.S. Citizen, but according ThinkProgress.org, Graham stated in 2013 on CNN (video below):
This man, in my view, should be designated as a potential enemy combatant and we should be allowed to question him for intelligence gathering purposes to find out about future attacks and terrorist organizations that may exist that he has knowledge of, and that evidence cannot be used against him in trial. That evidence is used to protect us as a nation.
Graham made no such suggestions regarding Roof, even though the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned about right-wing extremist groups in 2009, noted The Huffington Post.
Additionally, the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed 19 hate groups in South Carolina, but Graham has not called on Roof to be "designated as a potential enemy combatant."