Posting urged taking pistol into a black community

Dylann Roof appears via video before a judge in North Charleston on Friday. The 21-year-old man accused of killing nine people inside a black church in Charleston made his first court appearance Friday, with the relatives of all the victims making tearful statements.

Three days before a white man killed nine black worshippers at a Bible study, a commenter on the website of a hate group credited with inspiring the killer proposed taking a .45-caliber pistol into a black community to “help mitigate black violent crime at its source.”

It’s not known if Dylann Storm Roof, the man charged with nine counts of murder in the Emanuel church shootings, saw that posting on the Council of Conservative Citizens’ website or was influenced by it.

However, in an online manifesto believed to be his, Roof wrote:

“I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. “I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country.”

The manifesto lamented that no right-wing group such as skinheads or the KKK was doing anything about black-on-white crime except talking on the Internet.

In a haunting conclusion, the manifesto then says, “Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

The manifesto also says that Roof was inspired by articles on black crime posted on the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group with an active chapter in South Carolina. Kyle Rogers of Summerville serves as the council’s webmaster and editor of its newsletter.

He also wrote extensively about black-on-white crime for the website.

The president of the council is Earl P. Holt III, and researchers with the Southern Poverty Law Center said Wednesday that Holt posts racially charged comments on the website using the handle “CofCCprez2015.” The Montgomery, Ala., organization tracks hate and extremist groups.

In a June 15 posting on that website, a person with that username wrote:

“Old guys like me should dress in a disheveled manner, pretend to be intoxicated, hang-out in “the hood,” and bring along a large-caliber handgun (with backup!) and help mitigate violent black crime at its source. ...”

CofCCprez2015 went on to recommend that the gun he would use would be a .45-caliber pistol. Roof is accused of using a .45-caliber pistol to kill the nine people on June 17 at Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street, one of the nation’s oldest black churches.

Phone calls and emails to the Council of Conservative Citizens headquarters in St. Louis were not returned Wednesday.

The Council’s website said Jared Taylor of the New Century Foundation was handling requests for interviews in connection with the Charleston church shooting. But Henry Wolff, a spokesman for New Century, said that Holt “instructed us to pass messages along that he is not talking to the media.”

Roof, a 21-year-old from Eastover, is in jail in Charleston County. Bail has not been set on the nine murder charges he faces.

According to a WBTV television station in Charlotte near where Roof was arrested the day after the killings, Roof allegedly confessed to police in an audio recording, saying he intended to start a race war.

Rogers, the webmaster for the Council of Conservative Citizens, told The Post and Courier that he had never heard of Roof before the killings.

He said it was wrong to associate him in any way with Roof and expressed horror at the shooting rampage.

David Slade and Tony Bartelme contributed to this report.

Reach Doug Pardue at 937-5558 and Glenn Smith at 937-5556.