tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 19, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
ranging in age from 26 to 87. leaders of this community, people of faith, targeted in a sacred place. mother emanuel in the heart of charleston. >> for what did you pray, may i ask? >> for comfort and healing and understanding to those who have suffered in a way that most of us can never imagine. i don't know how they get through this but we all love them, they will. good friday to you. i'm craig melvin in for andrea mitchell. we are live in charleston south carolina, where residents are reacting to news today. according to sources that dylann roof has confessed to the mass shooting at emanuel ame church behind me that left nine people
dead and an entire region living in fear until the shooter's arrest in north carolina thursday. roof will appear at a bond hearing here in south kaur care via videoconference in just a few hours. we're also awaiting a press conference, a press conference from naacp president cornell brooks just a few blocks away. let's go right to our team here in charleston. nbc's gabe gutierrez live at the detention center in north charleston. msnbc's trymaine lee here with me in front of the church here. let me start with you, gabe. what more do we know about the confession, what more do we know about this gun that was acquired? and what's next for this shooter in the legal system? >> as you mentioned, the suspect dylann roof did confess to authorities according to police sources shortly after he was taken into custody. right now he's in the charleston county detention center behind me. he's in protective custody in
isolation. also chilling detail. his cell is right next to the cell of the officer charged in the death of walter scott, that officer michael slager. so we're expecting that bond hearing at 2:00 p.m. eastern time where roof will go before a judge via videoconference. we're also expecting a statement from the prosecutor in this case right after that bond hearing, craig. >> gabe at last check, roof did not have counsel, as i understand it. do we know whether that has changed? does he have an attorney yet? >> as far as we know he does not have an attorney. he waived extradition yesterday from north carolina and he was brought here to south carolina very quickly. he also waived the right to counsel. as far as we know he does not have an attorney at this point. but, you know we are learning more about him. he -- friends and family say over the last couple of years he became a loner, talked about segregation. he had several run-ins with the
law. he was arrested after an incident back in february where he was outside -- police approached him outside a mall in columbia south carolina and they say he had been asking suspicious question of mall employees. when they approached him they say they found him with -- they charged him with drug possession. he was banned from the mall for a year but a short time after that they found him again at the mall police say. and so he was charged with trespassing. those cases are still ongoing. of course now he is charged with this just horrible horrible church massacre. craig? >> nine counts of capital murder and the weapons charge as well. gabe thank you so much. a short time ago the long-time mayor of the city joe riley held a news conference. and during that news conference i asked him about the death penalty in this case. i asked him because earlier we heard from the governor nikki haley, and she essentially said that this is one of those heinous cases that most certainly requires the death penalty. this was mayor joe riley's
response. take a listen. >> that's the law in south carolina. so no doubt will be. i personally am not a proponent of the death penalty. >> not even in a case like this? >> well, i don't -- if you're going tva death penalty, then certainly this case would merit it. i'm of the belief that the death penalty is upholded in terms of i think it collectively over time adds to violence. i think people who commit serious crimes should lose their freedom forever. but that's the law in south carolina. no doubt it will be sought. >> mayor riley also announced the creation of a fund for the church and a fund to help the victims' families as well, pay for funeral expenses and also some additional expenses as well. trymaine lee is covering that part of the story for us. i understand that you actually talked to family member one of the victims. >> that's right.
i spoke to j.a. moore, brother of myra thompson one of the victims. she had been in recent weeks trying to get the family together for a family reunion because the last time the 13 siblings were together were two years ago at their father's funeral. now they're coming together to grieve her death. and so there's a lot of soul searching going on in this city and this community. prayer i have yale tonight at 6:00. others planned throughout the county and elsewhere in the state. but again, more soul searching, more pain, more trying to figure out why here why now, and just try to make sense of this. >> you know i was at the prayer service last night about a block and a half away where folks prayed together and sang together and placed flowers at this growing memorial behind me at emanuel ame church. do we know whether services will be happening here this weekend? >> at this point we don't know. a common theme has been resilience. this is a horrific and tragic will not break the backbone of this community. while everyone is trying to sort through the pieces be sure that again they will be resilient and come together the best they can at this point.
>> mayor riley saying the same thing, saying that this guy may have thought this would be the kind of act that tore people apart. but he expects it will have the opposite affect. thank you, always appreciate you. south carolina senator lindsey graham was one of the lawmakers who joined this community last night to honor the victims of wednesday's tragic shooting. i spent some time with senator graham immediately after he prayed for the men and women who lost their lives. >> for what did you pray may i ask? >> for comfort and healing and understanding to those who have suffered in a way that most of us can never manage gypimagine. i don't know how they get through this. but if we all love them they will. >> there's been a lot of talk as you know over the last few hours and the next few days and how we prevent tragedies like this from happening. >> yeah. >> is there a political solution? >> you know i don't know what makes a person able to do this.
crazy people doing crazy things seems to be part of life. but going into a church sitting in the church by the pastor for an hour and getting up and shooting people is something going to be very hard to understand how somebody could do that. and i think it's going to rock us because this church has been a sanctuary. it's been the ame church historically a sanctuary for the black community. the black community, the church has been the center. that's true all over south carolina. this is -- this is hard. i just -- going into school and shooting kids, i mean i don't know how you do that. but to go into, you know god's space and do this is -- i don't know. i can't explain it. >> how does charleston recover from this? how does -- >> just love each other. we lost nine firefighters several years ago. you know people ask me will there be disturbances? no. there will be a lot of broken hearts but i don't think anybody in south carolina is going to act inappropriately. i think what we're all going to
try to do is, one, make sure justice is served through our legal system. rest assured, there will be justice in this case. but, no i'm just -- i just cannot explain this. i go to the mideast a lot. i've seen hate up close. i've seen communities, you noekser where everybody has been killed because they were a different religion. and you think, well, that's just over there. well sometimes it's just not over there. >> south carolina senior senator lindsey graham there. also republican presidential contender as well. let's turn from him to another long-time south carolina lawmaker, state senator john scott joins me now from columbia. senator scott, always good to see youks sir. >> my pleasure to be with you. >> i want to start with a conversation that always seems to start after something like this happens. gun control, and what more should we be doing, and what more can we be doing to keep
guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't be near them. is there a political solution to something like this or is this just one of those instances where there's not a whole lot you can do to stop someone like this? >> i think there's a lot we can do to stop this kind of behavior in the south carolina community. first, if you look at what we have done in south carolina in the last three or four years, we've put more guns in the hands of young people. we now allow guns to be carried in bars and restaurants. i sat on the floor of the senate and stood for two years fighting that gun bill but it soon became law. i think one of the most important things that we have to understand if you put guns in the hands of young people who really don't understand what guns can actually do to destroy lives we're going to continue to see this kind of behavior continue. the other part the hate part this community, we will have to learn how to live together.
we will learn to share our economics, to continue to improve our education for our young people teaching them how to live in communities. i mean we are still a good distance away from the mark in terms of what we can do in this state. but i think after the charleston situation, i think an eye-opening experience i know has occurred in the state senate for the first time in the seven years i've been there, i saw them all come together. i think we're all looking now for a solution. how do we solve and how do we fix system of these problems that are out there? we cannot afford in this state to have another charleston. >> senator scott there's been a conversation literally my entire life and i would imagine much of yours as well about the confederate flag and the roll that that flag plays in a whole host of things in this state. we know based on pictures that we've seen of the shooter that he was a big fan of the con fed
confederate flag. we've seen a number of pictures of him wearing other paraphernalia that most consider racist. a number of folks have called for that flag to be taken down again. what's your take on the confederate flag and the role that it plays in this kind of hate? >> again, i think it symbolizes hate. some would argue it symbolizes heritage. outside of the flag we saw recently in the upstate one of our colleges with young people clemson university talked about changing the name of a building up there. we've got all kinds of buildings across south carolina with folk who are doing the civil war and thereafter. symbolize hate across this state. that's the beginning place. we begin to remove those symbols. begin to teach people how to live together, how to get along. we've got to move this state forward as we begin to look at more fortune 500 companies
coming into south carolina. the question is -- >> you know what, sir -- >> the business community. >> you say and i'm glad you brought that up because there have been critics of the business community of the state. you look at a number of major employee, whether it's boeing or bmw, volvo announceing they're coming to palmetto state as women. they don't seem to mind the flag so much. >> well, you know i guess that's a culture that in many cases they're -- probably not familiar with. these are companies coming to south carolina united states companies, although they sell a lot of products in the united states, international companies. at some point if those companies want those customers to continue to support those products they'll have to get behind what the community is saying about those symbols across the state to symbolize hate. >> state senator john scott. senator scott, thank you so much for your time, sir. have a great weekend. >> thank you so much. thank you, now.
we are learning more about the six women and three men who were tragically killed wednesday night inside the church behind librarian, minister, mother of four. all of their lives cut short. senseless act of violence. >> i was in that church. >> after prayers for peace nearly 400 marched to the site of the massacre trying to make sense of what happened. >> we can't go back to the way it was. we have to understand. >> vigils held. mourning the lives of those taken. >> what happened last night was tragic, so came out to support. >> reporter: nine victims remembered, six women and three men all gathered wednesday night as they did every week for bible study session. among those killed a church's paster to clementa pinckney 41-year-old married father of two who preached at emanuel ame since he was a teenager. >> god, we welcome and invite you into this place. >> reporter: pinckney was also a long-time member of the state senate where a black cloth was
draped on his desk in his memory thursday. also killed depayne middleton-doctor mother of four, church singer. 45-year-old singleton was a reverend and mother of three. she worked as a speech therapist and a high school track and field coach. cynthia hurd was a 54-year-old branch manager at st. andrews library in charleston which will now be renamed in her honor. >> she was committed to her community. she loved her family. and he loved her congregation. >> reporter: tywanza sanders was a 26-year-old barber graduated from south carolina allen university. 87-year-old susie jackson was a long-time church member. also confirmed dade 70-year-old ethel lance, 59-year-old myra thompson, and 74-year-old daniel simmons who died at the hospital.
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charleston the rest of this country continues to mourn the nine souls lost wednesday's shooting. among them reverend clementa pinckney. pinckney not just a spiritual leader in charleston but also respected legislator as well. i'm joined by todd rutherford minority leader in the south carolina state house. he is a colleague, long time friend of the reverend and also a personal friend as well. good to see you again, buddy. thanks for stopping by. for folks who did not know clementa pinckney what was he like? what was he like as a legislator, what was he like as a person? >> as a legislator i'm agitated a lot and i get angrynd i would go to him and we talked about the jasper court issue. it just wasn't working.
we were getting angry and i went to him, i said clem you've got to do this and go over there and jump on them and he said todd that's just not me. that's just not me. that's his constant refrain. he would take a breath slow down, that's just not me. i'll talk to them and see what i can do but i'm not going to get mad or yell at them. that was clem father loving husband. so many of us have shed tears because he is a passivist, a peaceful guy. to think of him sitting in that church trying to protect his parishioners while getting gunned down makes us all fill up with tears. >> a lot has been made about what can be done to prevent tragedies like this. is there a political solution? is there some sort of cultural solution? what say you? what more can you be doing, not just in this state but around the country? >> well, you know i think picking up his mantel of peace. picking up his mantel of love and carry that forward, making sure that we don't have this level of hatred rise to the
point where somebody feels like they can take a gun and walk into a church and kill people. feel like they can take a gun and go anywhere and kill people. that's what we need to work on first. policy decisions will come later. right now we're being respectful of the families. waiting to hear about the funeral arrangements. there were eight other souls in that church we have to deal with and we had connections to. all of us have connections. the president said he had connections to people in the church. we're trying to make sure we are respectful of that while trying to think of policy decisions in january. >> folks are saying if the flag were taken down off this state house that would go a long way to help the culture in the palmetto state? >> i think it's hard for the governor of the south carolina to stand and act like i don't know how this could have happened here when we have a confederate flag in our front yard. it's disingenuous for us at best. >> connect the dots for me. people who are not here and this has been a conversation our entire lives. connect the dots. how can a flag encourage someone
to do what they did here on wednesday night? >> it's not just the flag. it's symbols of what some would consider heritage but now is transformed into hate. it's the ben tillman statue on the front yard of the state house who openly advocated for the killing of negros advocating for exactly what this young man did two nights ago. it's that. it's that confederate flag standing there knowing that some people consider it a show in the face of what hatred is in the south and setting it there as government not just a private individual, but the government and acting as if hatred we don't know where that comes from. >> todd, appreciate your insights. thank you very much. much much more from charleston south carolina, just ahead. stay with us. hi, my name is cliff. i'm tom. my name is eric. and i help make beneful. i help make beneful. i help make beneful. after working here, there's no other food i'd feed my pets. each ingredient is tested by our own quality insurance people. i see all the quality data everything that i need to know that it's good for my dog. there's a standard.
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charleston simply doesn't convey the heartache that we all feel. we've seen too many tragedies like this. and there is something particularly horrifying about something that happens so senseless in a house of worship. >> first lady michelle obama there following the tragedy here in charleston. church communities around the country are on edge. last night in richmond virginia, police responded to a threat at the united nations church international after a man started banging on the door of a bible study, screaming racial obscenities there. witnesses say they believed he was carrying a machete. the pastor there in richmond ordered the doors be locked nape called security immediately. fortunately no one was hurt there. houses of worship have become quite vulnerable targets in recent decades. many with the welcoming environment and little security.
nbc's kate snow has more. >> reporter: at noon in st. louis the giant bell at the christ church cathedral tolling in remembrance of those lost in charleston. minutes later l.a.'s police chief announcing plans to beef up security at churches across that city. >> we're even more concerned that this may keep people from following their faith and worshiping. >> reporter: and in newark new jersey, a similar discussion. >> this church that you're standing in sends thousands of dollars a year for armed security. so that persons that come to worship can feel safe and feel protected. >> reporter: but sadly statistics show houses of worship are too frequently also the site of violent acts. >> as i came into the lobby i could see a man with firearm in his hand. >> reporter: carl chen was held hostage at a christian organization. now a security consultant he estimates just last year there were 176 violent incidents at
places of worship. since the bombing at the 16th street baptist church in birmingham back in 1963 there have been 13 mass murders at or around places of worship. churches in texas, louisiana, wisconsin, pennsylvania colorado, and california a buddhist temple in arizona, a seek temple in wisconsin. >> a vigil in honor of the nine people killed is planned for tonight, 6:00 just two blocks from here. meanwhile the shooter dylann roof will be appearing in court for the first time in about two hours. he will be formally charge with nine counts of murder. we're also hearing from debbie dill, the north carolina woman who spotted roof's car and called authorities leading to his arrest and the end of that frantic manhunt. >> i got back on the bypass to go see just if i could get a tag number, just to see and make sure, just had -- just had a feeling and i'm sure that was
divine intervention. i've said it before i'm going to say it here again. i feel like good had his hand in it and that he was -- he had me where i needed to be. he had todd there to help me get through. i'm going to tell you, i was nervous, i was scared. >> here with me now, nbc's chris jansing cover this strorstory from the beginning. as we stand here it's interesting to see not just this memorial grow but folks come up to it and bow and pray folks circling holding hands, boeing and praying. what have you seen in this community, chris over the past two days? >> you know i've been covering sadly these kind of tragedies since columbine. hard to say how many in between. but when you face tragedy like this, bloodlines blur. people come together. they unite in grief, they unite in support, they unite in love. you know this city better than i do but i love this city. i think it's one of the great american cities. and it hurts for these folks that this is the image people have of them. i was just talking to the mayor
and he says, this is not us. you know you heard him at the press conference. he said to me, he said you know, this is not who we are. and they thought they were going to separate us. this kid, 21-year-old, thought he was going to tear us apart and he brought us back together. i also notice that people just stay. it's hot out here. >> it is. >> it is -- >> it's north of 100 degrees. >> 112 real feel temperature. and people just stand there. they're drawn to it. they just want to pay their respects. >> what's next in terms of the investigation, what's next for this suspect? >> there's a lot in terms of the investigation. they have forensic teams, first of all. for example, what gun was used? was it a gun that he got around his birthday? he's apparently talking, right? he confessed. that doesn't mean that that's a slam dunk. that that's just one part of the case. that is not a legal conviction. that's something that he has
said to police. and he also said, and it takes us back full circle right when he was in there that he almost didn't do it because people were so welcomeing to him. when you talk to the folks who are members of that church and it's the thing they told me that night, everyone is welcome. and when it came out that he had been there for an hour and they asked him to sit next to the pastor. there was no one surprised by that craig. >> i've been in that church a number of times. first time in the third grade. they were like that because -- i don't want to call it a tourist church but people who came to this city from out of town this is on one of those lists. you know you get the maps and you got -- so people would show up every sunday. they would have folks from out of town. that's not surprising. it also very interesting when we start to hear more from the survivors, people inside that sanctuary on wednesday night. we will hear their stories at some point. stay with us. much, much more ahead from as chris indicated, a scorching
charleston south carolina. we'll be right back. but first, jon stewart last night on "the daily show." check this out. >> what blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves. if this had been what we thought islamic terrorism it would fit into our -- we invaded two countries and spent trillions of dollars and thousands of american lives. and now fly unmanned death machines over like five or six different countries. all to keep americans safe. we got to do whatever we can. we'll torture people. we got to do whatever we can to keep americans safe. nine people shot in a church what about that? what are you going to do? crazy is as crazy is, right?
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the only thing left to fear is you imagination. nissan. innovation that excites. dilroof will make his first court appearance at 2:00 as the investigation continues into what may have motivated him to kill nine people. roof is not yet made any public comments. his uncle though did speak to an msnbc producer a short time ago saying in part, quote, we didn't see this coming. we had no clue. and i will say this i hope he gets what's coming to him, not only has he destroyed nine people's lives and his own, he has destroyed his whole family. i hope he gets what's coming to him. i'm joined now from washington, d.c. by our justice correspondent pete williams. pete, thanks for being with me. this bond hearing at 2:00. the judge likely will deny bond.
then what? >> well, he is being held right now, according to the court documents we've seen on what are essentially first degree murder charges, murder commit we'd malice aforethought is the phrase used in south carolina law. he will probably i would gegs craig, be prosecuted by the state first. although that decision has not been made yet because both the state authorities and federal authorities are looking at pursuing separate track here. but as a practical matter he can't be tried in two jurisdictions at the same time. the federal government probably will file charges. they haven't decided whether they'll pursue hate crime charges or whether they'll pursue terrorism charges. they're looking at that too. they're looking at all the available options. but even if they do file charges, you can only be tried in one court at once. as a practical matter it looks like that's going to be the state, although that decision
hasn't been fully signed off yet. but it looks like he will proceed in state court. he will have this pond hearing and initial appearance, charges will be filed, then a court date for him to set -- for him to plea and all the pretrial things will move along on the murder charges in south carolina. >> pete based on the definition of terrorism that the government uses, should we be calling him a terrorist? >> well, you know that's -- that's a hard one. he doesn't fit the normal definition of someone, but i guess the answer to that would depend on there have been -- you know, what you have to think about is whether it fits the definition of domestic terrorism. we've kind of gotten into the habit of thinking of terrorism as foreign inspired terrorism. so if it turns out and so far we've been told it doesn't look like he acted in concert with anyone else. but if it turns out that he was
a member of a domestic terror organization or a white supremacist group and that he did this at their behest or because they inspired him, then that could point in a different direction. so we've seen cases before where there have been domestic attacks, people have been inspired by these domestic groups and that it is called domestic terrorism but we're way ahead of the evidence on that. >> our man at the justice department pete williams. pete, thanks as always. there is still a great deal we do not know about. dylann roof. a clearer picture is starting to emerge from his family and from his friends. middle school friend says roof recently reached out to him for the first time in five years making some concerning comments about race. >> he was just saying how he didn't agree with the trayvon martin case how he wanted segregation, he wanted to be white with white and black with black, and that he didn't believe in what the black race
was doing to the white race. >> for more now on the mind of a killer i'm joined now by msnbc contributor and former fbi profiler clint van zandt. clint, i want to start with something we just got in a few moments ago. i think we can put it up on the screen for our viewers at home to take a look at the charging documents. these are the charging documents that we've obtained with the last hour. so take a look at dylann roof's signature. again, not to read too much into this but it's child like. i mean he looks like -- it looks like he writes like an 8-year-old. what if anything can you make of that? >> when you look at the incident, when you look at the expression we've seen on this man's face it is child like. you know while he likely doesn't meet the definition of being legally insane i mean he is bad. he is evil.
he has done terrible things. but i think we've learned time and again and again how someone who may be child like or may be drastically immature insecure whatever title we want to give him, you put a gun in somebody's hand and all of a sudden that becomes the great equalizer. and he is equal to everyone else, he's able to make this terrible statement. and realize that there are according to some 19 separate hate groups in south carolina. whether he contributed to any, watched them online all of that still has to come out in the investigation. as you and pete williams were suggesting, that may contribute to whether he's charged with an act of terrorism. we have to know just like timothy mcveigh in oklahoma city there are domestic terrorists fully capable of committing as bad if not worse of an attack than an
international terrorist can do. >> i want to play a sound bite that i know that you've seen and heard a couple of times now. but this is from a family member who is describing the scene inside this church on wednesday. i want to play it for our viewers and listeners and then i want to talk about what that might help us glean from all of this. take a listen. >> i spoke with the -- i'm one of the survivors and she said that he had loaded -- reloaded five different times. her son was trying to talk him out of doing that act of killing people. and he -- he just said i have to do it. he said, you rape our women and you have taken over our country. and you have to go. >> clint, you've got a guy that sits with parishioners for 45 minutes at least and then
decides to stand up open fire reloads five times, has someone lead pleading to stop and he still -- what does that tell you about the kind of mind that the shooter has? >> well, number one, he came there to commit an act like this. to reload five times with a .45 automatic he's having to shove multiple magazines in and out of that weapon to keep reloading and keep firing. number two, we know that part of his confession we're told by sources, he indicates, gee, these people were so nice to me. i almost didn't do it. but i had to carry out my mission, or words to that effect. craig, he had to face reality which is these were good wonderful, decent people. and his fantasy was that these are horrible people and i have to change the world. he was in conflict but he still carried out this mass murder. >> former fbi profiler msnbc contributor, clint van zandt. thank you, sir. more ahead from charleston
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erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. ask your doctor about viagra. what will it take for mother emanuel and this holy city of charleston to heal? i'm joined now by reverend nelson rivers from charity missionary baptist church here in charleston. reverend rivers you've been here all of my life. i don't know how long you've lived in these parts. first of all, how is your city doing? >> well, we're struggling but we're getting there. we have a service tonight that i will be presiding over with the mayor of charleston. i think that also on behalf of action network with reverend sharpton we were talking to the folk. this is the church i got married
in. this is my wife's home church. we buried my mother-in-law in this church. we had family members, a sister nephews, i knew many of the pastors here at mother emanuel, i went to wheel of fortune university, first black college, the part of the ame church. and so the attack mother emanuel really literally means to attack the mother. it sends a message. so when that was done the shockwave in our community was we know clementa pinckney. he's not just someone we met on this video recent len we you met him other people have met him around the world. knew him personally. we wither together at the signing of the bill body cameras, one week before he died. when you killed clementa in his church sitting next to him, going through bible study, that sends a chilling message and we have so many of the members who died, who lost their lives, we know them personally, members of our families friendship circle. so it's painful in a lot of ways. people ask how do we start to
heal? justice will be a great step. let not the living be in vain. >> what is justice in this case? is it the death penalty? >> no, the fact that he was apprehended but he was not born hating black people. what drove him to that? he was not born wanting to kill black people in a church even though they became so human to him in a short period of time he almost didn't do it. we fly the confederate flag the symbol that he adored that helped drive him to do this and yet we act as though that's off topic. that cannot be off the subject. and guns. this is a state that wants folks to carry guns into bars. is that crazy? you're going the mix alcohol with guns and bishop bryant made that point yesterday at the vigil with the governor sitting there and u.s. senator scott and house of representative member clyburn. starting at the beginning. tonight we're coming to be there for the families to let them know they are loved and supported. then the question becomes how do you stop this from happening next week in another church here
in town? >> you've been to this show a lot of times. >> yes, sir. >> you know how it ends with regards to the gun debate. we'll talk about it. maybe for a few weeks and then after that nothing changes. >> challenge you this way. the body camera bill, until walter scott got killed, didn't have any life. wasn't going anywhere. we talked about it. we were passionate about it. here y'all was, nothing happened. walter got killed on video. now people around the world are asking the question are you serious that you don't event want to talk about it? the paradigm has to shift. i'm praying that's what will happen. in the meantime it's up to us to continue to beat the drums, speak the truth, and not be ashamed ashamed, not be afraid don't let the fact that it's not popular stop us from doing what's right. >> thank you very much. philanthropist and business leader ralph roberts died. he was 95. mr. roberts was the founder and chairman emeritus of comcast, the parent company of nbc universal.
"nbc nightly news "anchor lester holt now remembering roberts. >> when i started the cable company back in 1963 i never dreamed that it could possibly grow to where it is today. >> reporter: nor could ralph roberts have dreamed the company name he came up with would some day be alongside the peacock atop 30 rock. >> ralph roberts was not supposed to be the cable man he turned out to be. he started as an advertising guy. that was his original career and he was in the navy. he used to sell golf clubs. he used to sell belts and suspenders. >> reporter: all that changed in the early '60s when roberts and his partners bought a tiny cable company in tupelo mississippi, better known as the birth place of elvis presley. cable tv was small change back then but roberts saw it as a way to reach more customers, offer them more channels. and it was just a start.
>> we hung in there and we kept growing and growing, buying building getting franchises and were very aggressive in our desishde desire to build a real company long term. >> reporter: cop castmcast is still headquartered in philadelphia where he grew up. robert robert's own family included five children and wife susan, son brian succeeded him as president in 1990. >> i had to be proud of something, i think i'm proud of the way he did. he didn't come out like a spoiled brat like some kids do. >> reporter: with ralph roberts as chairman comcast continued to grow buying nbc universal in 2011. it was the ambitious vision that company's modest founder saw a half century earlier. >> ralph roberts never wanted to be a household name. he wanted comcast to be the household name. he never wanted to be a mogul. that wasn't what this was about. it was about creating a company and now that's his legacy. >> i don't like to brag about it
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it has been a hard few days here in charleston south carolina. but i got to tell you this it has also been heartening to hear the number of folks who, first of all, despite the 110-degree temperatures here continue to show up at the memorial and drop off flowers and bow their heads and offer prayers for the nine people who lost their lives on wednesday. it has been heartening to see the number of people black, white, young, old, interdenominational come together in the past few days and vow that what happened here on wednesday isn't going to tear this city apart, but instead it is going to have the opposite
effect. with some final thoughts now from the people of charleston in their own words. >> we woke up today and the heart and soul of south carolina was broken. 6 6. >> we can't go back to the way it was. we can work together. we can worship together. we can understand that what happened at mother emanuel happened to all of us. >> when you look at the flowers here and the teddy bears and what do you think? >> it's helping them and blessing their lives. that now they're in a better place. >> i've lived here for 24 years. i have never been more welcome anywhere than in this church. this is the holy city. this is a family. ♪ ♪ we shall overcome ♪ >> no act will ever destroy the
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planters. nutrition starts with nut. hi everybody. i'm thomas roberts live from charleston south carolina. people are trying to heal after the horrific massacre that happened behind me. 21-year-old dylann roof will appear for a bond hearing via closed circuit tv charge with nine counts of murder. he confessed to the killings and told ms. he almost didn't go through with it because everyone was so nice to him at the church behind me. now, this is roof's signature on a court document from shelby north carolina. take a good look at that. now, if it wasn't for debbie dills this man would be probably on the run as we speak. although she's been held a hero she's really shying away from th