Charleston Police Chief, Mayor: Black Church Shooting Will Be Treated As Hate Crime

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At a police news conference in Charleston following the shooting deaths of 9 people in a historic black church, the police chief and retiring mayor announced this investigation will be handled as a hate crime.

Late Wednesday night, a white gunman shot up the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal, a historic black church, the oldest in the South, causing the death of 9 people. The church is located in downtown Charleston.

REPORTER: Do you believe this was a hate crime?

GREGORY MULLEN, CHARLESTON POLICE CHIEF: I do believe it was a hate crime.

REPORTER: Is that why the FBI is here, to investigate it as a hate crime?

MULLEN: It will be investigated as a hate crime but the FBI would be here regardless because of the size and scope of the investigation. And they are our partners and they would be here to help us regardless but they are here for that specific reason also.

JOSEPH P. RILEY JR., (D) MAYOR: The only reason someone can walk in to church and shoot people praying is out of hate. The only reason. It is the most dastardly act that one can possibly imagine. And we will bring that person to justice as soon as possible.

REPORTER; How does the hate crime investigation go -- how does a hate crime investigating that differ from a regular investigation?

MULLEN: The methods and techniques that we will used in the investigation will be the exact same thing what occurs is as we go forward with any type of prosecution that's where those particular regulations would come in to play.

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