Jail clerical error acknowledged in church shooting gun buy
LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — An employee at the Lexington County jail entered the wrong information into a database of South Carolina arrests, allowing the man charged with killing nine people at a Charleston church to buy the gun authorities say was used in the attack.
Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon told The Associated Press on Monday the wrong information about which agency arrested Dylann Roof on a drug charge was corrected two days after his Feb. 28 arrest. That correction wasn't sent to the State Law Enforcement Division, which maintains the records that the FBI checks.
When the FBI did its check in April, an examiner called Lexington County deputies, who said the arrest took place in Columbia. Before the examiner could find the report, the waiting period expired and the gun was sold.
Faith groups unite in campaign against racism, community ills
UNDATED (AP) — Faith-based organizations and scores of churches are uniting in a campaign aimed at pushing back against racial animosity in the wake of the Charleston church massacre.
The coordinated effort is being called WORR, which stands for Week of Righteous Resistance.
Participating groups include the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Hands Up United, One Church Liturgy, Transform Network, and the LIVE FREE Campaign - a faith-based effort to reduce gun violence and end mass incarceration in the nation's urban communities.
LIVE FREE director Rev. Michael McBride -- of Oakland, California -- says more than 100 groups and churches are making a stand against hate groups and forces he says are out to attack churches and their leaders.
Ex-church official moved from jail that pope plans to visit
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former church official jailed for his handling of priest sexual abuse complaints is no longer housed at a Philadelphia jail that Pope Francis plans to visit.
Monsignor William Lynn is serving a minimum three-year sentence for endangering children in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He's the first U.S. church official prosecuted over the alleged church cover-up.
Lynn has been held at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Center while appealing his 2012 conviction.
But defense lawyer Thomas Bergstrom says his client is back at a state prison. Appeals courts have been split on whether Lynn should have been convicted under the child-endangerment law, and he has been in and out of prison.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit inmates at the city prison during his U.S. trip in September.
Covert video targets Planned Parenthood fetal-parts policy
NEW YORK (AP) — Anti-abortion activists have released an undercover video showing a Planned Parenthood official discussing the disposition of parts from aborted fetuses.
The activists contend the video released reveals illegalities. Planned Parenthood says the activity in question is the legal, not-for-profit donation of fetal tissue to research firms.
The video was made covertly last year. It depicts a conversation between Planned Parenthood medical services senior director Dr. Deborah Nucatola and anti-abortion activists posing as potential buyers for a biologics company.
Commercial sale of human fetal tissue is illegal under federal law. Non-commercial tissue donation is allowed if the person undergoing an abortion gives consent.
The video was produced by the Irvine, California-based Center for Medical Progress. It was released with support from several anti-abortion organizations that call for a congressional investigation.
Police say vandalism at Florida church was a hate crime
MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say the vandalism of a black church on Florida's Space Coast was a hate crime.
Melbourne Police Department officials are offering a cash award for information leading to any arrests. Police say vandals wrote "SS Charleston 2" on the side of a pickup truck parked at New Shiloh Christian Church and then ransacked a section of the church. Police say they believe the graffiti refers to the June 17 massacre of nine churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
It's the third time in six months New Shiloh has been vandalized. Florida Today reports that the 1,500-member church previously was set on fire, and that juveniles scrawled a swastika and spray-painted a noose on a storage unit.
Bishop Jacquelyn Gordon, the senior pastor, says the vandalism is a financial setback and happened in area of the 125,000-square-foot building where an expansion effort was in the works. Gordon says she's praying that the culprits will be revealed. She says calls of encouragement have come from throughout the community.