CHARLESTON, S.C. — All 2,000 words. Each rambling, racist belief that self-confessed white supremacist Dylann Roof wrote down was read aloud Monday in court for jurors in his murder trial in Charleston, South Carolina.
Roof, 22, has confessed to killing nine members of the historically-black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a bible study on June 17, 2015. After he was captured, authorities learned Roof had written what they termed a manifesto, and also posed for photos, including one with a US flag burning in one hand and another with a Confederate flag.
The writings, which an FBI agent read aloud, were among several pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution, including images from a web site Roof created that featured his rant on white supremacy and photos of him.
Roof’s writings were reported last June.
‘I have no choice’
Some of Roof’s writings, printed verbatim, include:
“The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right.”
“Negroes have lower IQs, lower impulse control, and higher testosterone levels in generals. These three things alone are a recipe for violent behavior.”
“I don’t pretend to understand why jews do what they do. They are enigma.”
“Hispanics are obviously a huge problem for Americans. But there are good Hispanics and bad Hispanics.”
“I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke. People pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets.”
“I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country.”
Laughing during his confession
Roof’s writings were last accessed on his dad’s computer hours before the shooting at Emanuel AME, CNN -affiliate WCIV reported.
On Friday, a former South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent, who processed Roof’s car, read from the diary retrieved from the vehicle. The diary contained a hand-written version of Roof’s writings that were read in court on Monday. Roof had also copied the words from his website into the diary.
Roof also reiterated his racist beliefs to investigators in an FBI video of his confession, shown in court on Friday.
“I went to that church in Charleston and I did it,” Roof said, then laughed, the video showed.
“Did you shoot them?” a law enforcement officer asked the calm and composed Roof.
“Yes,” Roof replied, laughing again.
Asked how many people he killed that day, Roof replied calmly: “If I was going to guess, five maybe. I’m really not sure.”
‘I didn’t say anything to them’
Roof has plead not-guilty to 33 federal charges: nine counts of violating the Hate Crime Act resulting in death; three counts of violating the Hate Crime Act involving an attempt to kill; nine counts of obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death; three counts of obstruction of exercise of religion involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon; and nine counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence.
If convicted, Roof could face the death penalty
Roof has said he picked the church, known as Mother Emanuel, because he wanted to provoke a race war. All of the victims were black.
That night, at Mother Emanuel, Roof fired 70 rounds from a Glock .45-caliber pistol as a dozen people stood for prayers, with their eyes closed, prosecutors said.
“I didn’t say anything to them,” Roof said of his victims.
After the shootings, Roof said: “I didn’t talk to them.”