Family members hold photos of the nine people who were shot and killed when a gunman opened fire June 17, 2015, inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
The families of the nine people killed in the mass shooting inside a Charleston, S.C., church aren’t pleased with the distribution of donations the church has received since the June 17 shooting.
The wife of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the South Carolina state senator and Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church pastor who was among those killed in the massacre, has not received any of the donation proceeds, according to her attorney.
“They’ve not contacted me at all,” her attorney, South Carolina state Sen. Gerald Malloy, told the Post and Courier.
According to the Post and Courier, the church has given the families of the victims some $1.5 million that it’s received and is keeping around $1.8 million, with plans to make long-needed repairs to the church. The church also plans to create an endowment, a memorial and scholarships, and $78,000 will go to the Charleston Hope Fund.
Since many who donated didn’t specify where their donations should go, church leaders decided how the money would be divided.
“It’s just sad how the church continues to disrespect the families,” the Rev. Sharon Risher, who lost her 70-year-old mother, Ethel Lance, in the shooting, told the newspaper.
Family members of the victims told the Post and Courier that they had received certified letters with checks from the church.
“This sum represents the distribution to you of a percentage of the total amount of funds, calculated upon the basis of the number of immediate family members of the Emanuel 9 victims and survivors,” the form letter said.
The letters didn’t mention how much money the church had received or how the donations would be divided among the survivors, their families and the church.
“There was nothing personal about it at all,” Andy Savage, an attorney who represents several victims’ families and survivors Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard, told the newspaper.
The donations were held up in court after Arthur Hurd, the husband of victim Cynthia Graham Hurd, filed a lawsuit last fall seeking an accounting of the donations. In May, the lawsuit was dismissed and the donations were dispersed.
Hurd received a check for $50,000, his portion of donations from the church. He told the newspaper that it was much less than he expected.
“I feel like it says, ‘Take this and shut up,'” Hurd told the Post and Courier.
Read more at the Post and Courier.
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