Less than a year after the deadly mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church, the church has distributed $1.5 million in donations to the families of the 9 killed and the 5 injured. However, church officials are keeping a whopping $1.8 million of the monies given in the wake of the deaths, which has raised some serious eyebrows and deeply upset the families, the Post and Courier reported.
“It’s just sad how the church continues to disrespect the families,” Rev. Sharon Risher, whose 70-year-old mother Ethel Lance died in the shooting, told the newspaper.
Church leaders state that the funds will go to building maintenance, endowment for memorials and scholarships and $78,000 specified for the city of Charleston Hope Fund, a foundation that helps distribute funds to victims, the Courier noted.
Families are also upset with church officials for the cold tone of the form letters that they received.
The letters read, “This sum represents the distribution to you of a percentage of the total amount of funds, calculated upon the basis of the number of immediate family members of the Emanuel 9 victims and survivors.”
“There was nothing personal about it at all,” said Andy Savage, an attorney who represents several victims’ families and survivors, told the paper. Sadly, this isn’t the only time the church has come under fire.
Arthur Hurd’s wife Cynthia died in the shootings, but he sued the church for being too secretive about the donation process, CBS News reported. However, he dropped the suit when church officials were transparent with his lawyer. But Hurd doesn’t isn’t satisfied with how things were left, especially after getting a $50,000 check with no explanation of who got what.
“I feel like it says, ‘Take this and shut up,’ ” Hurd said.
As we know, last June during Bible Study, Dylann Roof, who was affiliated with hate groups, shot and killed nine parishioners at the historically Black church. Roof is currently is awaiting a death penalty trial in state court, CBS wrote.