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Dylann Roof passed on shooting up College of Charleston because it would have been too hard: friends

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Friends of the white gunman who shot and killed nine black people inside an historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina said he first talked about attacking a college campus, the Washington Post and NBC News reported on Friday.

The Washington Post reported 22-year-old Christon Scriven, a black neighbor of gunman Dylann Roof, said that during a recent night of drinking, Roof said he wanted to open fire on a school. At another point, Roof talked about shooting up the College of Charleston, according to the newspaper.

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“My reaction at the time was, ‘You’re just talking crazy,'” Scriven told the Post. “I don’t think he’s always there.”

Scriven also told NBC News that Roof may have changed his plans after deciding the college campus was a harder target to access.

“He just said on Wednesday, everything was going to happen. He said they had seven days,” Scriven said to NBC News. “I just ran through my head that he did it […] Like, he really went and did what he said he was going to do.”

Reuters could not verify the report as Scriven could not be immediately reached for comment.

Roof, 21, who authorities say spent an hour in Bible study with parishioners at the nearly 200-year-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church before opening fire on Wednesday night, appeared via video feed before a magistrate judge who on Friday ordered him held without bond.

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He has been charged with nine counts of murder and a weapons offense.

The attack at the church nicknamed “Mother Emanuel” for its key role in African-American history followed a wave of protests across the United States in recent months over police killings of unarmed black men, focusing attention on racial bias in the criminal justice system and renewing a civil rights movement under the banner of “Black Lives Matter.”


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Jeb Bush wonders why Republicans are not ‘stepping up’ to condemn racism

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Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) wondered on Friday why more Republicans were not standing publicly against racism.

"I have said it before and I will say it again now: the GOP must not tolerate racism. Of any kind. At any time," his son, George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner posted on Twitter.

He urged local GOP officials in Texas to resign for sharing racist posts on Facebook.

Jeb Bush praised the post.

"Proud of my son," he posted on Twitter.

"Are other Republican elected officials stepping up?" he wondered.

https://twitter.com/JebBush/status/1269057568015605761

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‘Not appropriate at all’: GOP senator admits it was wrong to gas protesters for Trump’s photo-op

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The decision to gas protesters so President Donald Trump could hold a photo-op holding a Bible were criticized by a Republican senator on Friday as cracks start to emerge in Republicans' support for the president.

"As you know, outside the White House when protesters were peacefully exercising their rights, there were rubber bullets and tear gas, they were disbursed so he could go for the pictures, the photo-op at the church," CNN's Erin Burnett reported.

She noted criticism by former General Mattis and asked Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) if he agreed.

"I would say no question the scene that I understand occurred there with the tear gas and rubber bullets was unnecessary, not appropriate at all," he replied.

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GOP Senate candidate complains schools are teaching too much ‘multiculturalism’

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On Friday, the Huffington Post reported that Corky Messner, a GOP businessman running for Senate in New Hampshire, complained that schools are teaching kids too much "multiculturalism" at a virtual town hall.

“We are essentially up against multiculturalism and the values that we know that are being taught in our public schools and universities that are not part of the values and beliefs that made this country great,” said Messner at the event, which took place on Wednesday and was flagged by Democratic super PAC American Bridge. “So we have a battle on our hands.”

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