June 18, 2015
I am deeply saddened by the violent act of hatred which took place in Charleston, South Carolina, last night. My prayers, my condolences and my heart go out to the victims and their families.
Emanuel AME Church has great significance for the Civil Rights Movement and African-Americans throughout the South. For generations, brave women and men have gathered, organized, and advocated to end slavery and to win recognition of their rights as American citizens in this church. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at Emanuel AME Church in 1962. The people of Atlanta share in the grief brought by this senseless loss of life in a sacred space.
Hatred prompted this act, but we must respond with love. The City of Atlanta offers its full support to the people of Charleston, South Carolina, in the wake of this tragedy. May God bless and watch over us in this time of great sadness.