FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Survivors of the 2015 massacre at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston were in Columbia on Thursday asking state senators to pass a hate-crime bill.
Polly Sheppard, a Florence resident who survived the shooting, said South Carolina needs a hate-crimes bill and that without one the state is vulnerable to more attacks like the one that with claimed the lives of nine people in 2015.
The bill is named the Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act after the church’s former pastor and South Carolina senator who was also one of the victims of the attack.
“Time to vote, please vote,” Sheppard said. “If we can’t get these laws with the lawmakers we have now, let’s vote them out, and let’s get some people who will actually work for the people of South Carolina. That’s very important. The local election — please get out and vote.”
The bill is currently pending in the Senate.