Tag Archives: South Carolina

SC Bill Would Convene Legislature to Consider Secession If Feds Seize Guns

Republican state representatives in South Carolina introduced a bill on Thursday that would convene the state’s legislature to consider secession from the U.S. government in the event that federal officials began seizing lawfully-purchased firearms in the state.

The bill summary for H 5217, which was introduced by state Reps. Mike Pitts (R-District 14), Jonathan Hill (R-District 8), and Ashley Trantham (R-District 28), reads, “A bill to amend the code of laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Article 11 to Chapter 31, Title 23 so as to provide that the General Assembly shall convene to consider whether to secede from the United States based upon the federal government’s unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution if the federal government confiscates legally purchased firearms in this state.”

The introduction of the bill comes amid a nationwide debate over school security and gun laws that was sparked by the deadly February 14 mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. that left 17 dead and 17 wounded.

Gun control activists have called for new restrictions on firearms, such as bans or age limits on tactical rifles and expanded background checks, while supporters of gun rights have advocated for the elimination of gun-free zones in schools through measures including allowing some teachers or faculty members to carry firearms. In a New York Times op ed, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said that he believes that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be repealed, calling the amendment protecting gun rights a “relic of the 18th century.”

Bill author Rep. Mike Pitts said that it was the increasing chorus of demands for new gun restrictions that inspired him to pen the legislation and not former Justice John Paul Stevens’ comments on the Second Amendment.

Rep. Pitts, who claims that he is not “promoting secession,” said according to Fox News, “Without a Bill of Rights, our nation is not what it is. I see a lot of stuff where people even talk about totally repealing the Second Amendment, which separates us from the entire rest of the world.”

According to The Hill, the bill was assigned on Thursday to the House Judiciary Committee.

The measure is reportedly being considered primarily symbolic and unlikely to pass during this session, as it would have to gain swift traction in order to be transferred to the state’s Senate by the session’s April 10 deadline. As of press time, with that deadline fast approaching, the bill has yet to be introduced in the Senate.

Video: Bill Clinton Confronted at Campaign Rally Over Benghazi

During a campaign rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in South Carolina on Friday, former President Bill Clinton engaged in a heated argument with a man, claiming to be a Marine, who confronted Clinton over the 2012 Benghazi attacks which occurred while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

A video shows a man, identifying himself as a Marine, asking Clinton at first to address the VA. “I’m anxious to get to the VA, you covering that, I’m not sure so hopefully you can get to it.”

“I am,” Clinton interjected.

The man went on, “We have loved ones that we want to hear about and we care about, and I’ve met with many of these Gold Star parents and families so I’ve seen them-“

“What do you think should be done with the VA?” Clinton interrupted.

The man then suddenly shifted the topic to Benghazi: “The thing is, we had four lives in Benghazi killed and your wife tried to cover it up,” he said, which drew a negative response from the crowd.

The man continued to speak for several more seconds before Clinton asked to respond. “Can I answer? Are you going to let me answer?” Clinton asked. “This is America, I get to answer. I heard your speech. They heard your speech. You listen to me now,” Clinton said.

The man continued to speak, his voice growing louder, as Clinton told the man, “I’m not your commander in chief anymore but if I were, I’d tell you to be more polite. Sit down.”

“And I wouldn’t listen,” the man shot back. “I would just raise my voice.”

The video then shows deputies approaching the man to remove him from the building. As the man was taken out of the building, Clinton said, “Do you have the courage to listen to my answer? Don’t throw him out. If you’ll shut up to listen to my answer, I’ll answer.”

Clinton then addressed the crowd: “Can I just say something? That’s what’s wrong. his mind has been poisoned by lies and he won’t listen.”

A woman can be heard in the video shouting, “Hillary lied over four coffins! Four coffins! She lied! And she lied to those families! So all those families are liars? All those families are liars? I want to know, I want to know. Did she lie?”

The video shows the crowd becoming increasingly noisy and unsettled as Clinton and the woman continued to argue before the woman was also removed from the building by deputies.

According to local news station WSAV3, Clinton’s response was that his wife was not responsible for the attacks in Benghazi. Clinton later spoke to the crowd to address the issue. “The ambassador of Libya was a personal friend of Hillary’s. You can imagine how she feels when people make these charges,” said Clinton. “And she, believe me, lost a lot of sleep over it.”

According to The State newspaper of Columbia, South Carolina, Clinton said that Republicans have attempted to “politicize the deaths of brave Americans because (they) want to win this next election.”

Clinton also reportedly claimed that his wife “has never once played politics with the lives of the men and women in uniform.”

The man who confronted Clinton did not identify himself to The State beyond being a “Marine Sergeant,” and told the paper that he “wanted answers, and I wanted to make my point.”

“The deputies started coming over, so obviously my point wasn’t able to be made,” he noted.

Trump’s South Carolina Victory Signals Rejection of GOP Establishment

As reported previously at Truth In Media, the continued popularity of Donald Trump appears to support the “repudiation of America’s two-party system.”

Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC), Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) all stumped for Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) endorsed Jeb Bush, but this didn’t deter voters from giving Trump the win by a huge margin in the First-In-The-South primary.

Haley’s endorsement of Rubio had minimal influence on South Carolina voters according to polls, and her “angry voices” rebuke of Trump during the State of the Union address did not sway voters away from Trump in the Palmetto state.

The election results in S.C. shows a disconnect between voters and the political class within the state.

For example, there were events in S.C. during a recent debate that shocked the Republican establishment.

Trump openly criticized the Iraq war, and was questioned over and over again about a previous statement he made in 2008 saying that George W. Bush should have been impeached. Trump said that the Bush administration lied about WMDs. He also suggested that 9/11 terrorists were financed by the Saudi government and said that Americans will know the truth about what happened on 9/11.

[RELATED: What the Media Missed When Trump Brought Up ‘Very Secret’ Papers]

Trump’s victory appears to demonstrate that voters in a conservative state are no longer offended by these ideas and many are in agreement with Trump.

The S.C. primary is very significant because it is the first time that George W. Bush campaigned for any candidate since leaving the White House. It seems that Trump is more popular there than the Bush’s foreign policy.

According to a recent MSNBC poll, 52% of voters feel betrayed by the GOP, and S.C. voters have made their statement loud and clear.

John Steinberger, former Republican Charleston County Chairman and current co-chair for the SC Charleston County Trump campaign, shared his thoughts about Trump’s win in a conversation with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook. “As Mr. Trump has been saying for months now, this is not just a Presidential campaign— it’s a movement. So many ordinary Americans are frustrated by the ruling class from both parties, who are more concerned about the big donors than they are about the American people.”

“Years later, we will look back and realize that this movement made America more prosperous and strong than ever before,” said Steinberger.

Former Ron Paul supporter Robbie Bowen told Cook: “(the) Trump movement is not the liberty movement, but it is part of a larger paradigm shift. Neoconservatism lost in S.C. tonight, along with the co-opted pastors & tea party organizations bought & paid for with SuperPAC dollars.”

Ben Swann said last September that “voters are rejecting the Republican Party and what they believe it stands for” in a Reality Check segment that can be seen below.

Reality Check: Support For ‘Outsider’ Candidates Is A Repudiat…

Follow on twitter: http://bit.ly/1KPEVfB7 in 10 Americans say people in politics cannot be trusted. The same group also calls the political system dysfunctional. Is 2016 set to be an historic election because American voters are finally rejecting the two-party system?Learn more: http://bit.ly/1MEvymK

Posted by Ben Swann on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Follow Joshua Cook on Facebook and Twitter.

Gov. Nikki Haley Endorses Marco Rubio for President Ahead of SC Primary

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that she was endorsing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for president on Wednesday, as voters prepare for the state’s primary on Saturday.

Haley made the announcement during an event in Chapin, South Carolina, where she said that if Rubio is elected, “everyday will be a great day in America.”

“When it was time to look at this presidential race, I thought from a different perspective,” Haley said, noting the challenges the state has faced in the last year.

Haley said she wanted to endorse a president who “would have the back of our military veterans and those in active duty,” and who is “all about term limits in D.C.”

“I wanted somebody humble enough that remembers that you work for all of the people,” Haley said. “I wanted somebody who reminded my parents that the best decision you can make is coming to America.”

Rubio came in fifth place in the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9 with 10.6% of the vote, and third place in the Iowa Caucus on Feb. 1 with 23.1% of the vote.

While Haley did not announce who she was endorsing prior to Wednesday, she made it clear on Tuesday that she would not be endorsing business mogul Donald Trump, calling him “everything a governor doesn’t want in a president.”

Haley also said she wants someone “who is going to hold Republicans accountable,” and “who is going to make a difference, not just for our party but for every person they represent in the country.”

The State noted that Haley endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race, and while he lost the South Carolina primary to Newt Gingrich, he went on to win the GOP nomination.

Rubio has also been endorsed by Republican politicians in South Carolina such as Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy.

For more election coverage, click here.

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Ex-Cop Indicted for Killing Walter Scott Granted Bail, Released from Jail

Michael Slager, the former police officer who was indicted for the murder of Walter Scott during a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina in April 2015, has been released from jail on a $500,000 bond.

Slager, 33, was previously denied bail at the Charleston County Detention Center after footage from a cellphone video revealed an entirely different narrative from the one Slager reported after he shot Scott, 50, eight times in the back on April 4, 2015. Prior to his release, Slager had been held in solitary confinement since the shooting.

[RELATED: Videos from Walter Scott Shooting Expose Police Officer’s Lies]

The initial police report claimed that during a routine traffic stop in which Slager pulled Scott over for a broken taillight, Scott fled the scene and Slager “deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him.” The statement further claimed that “an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device,” and that Slager “resorted to his service weapon” and shot Scott, only after Scott “gained control of the Taser” and attempted to use it against Slager.

However, the video of the shooting appeared to show Scott running away from Slager, Slager pulling out his gun and shooting Scott in the back, and Slager then approaching Scott’s limp body on the ground and planting his Taser next to it.

[RELATED: South Carolina Grand Jury Indicts Former Officer For Murder of Walter Scott]

Slager was initially charged with the murder of Scott in April after the release of the video. He was then indicted by a South Carolina grand jury in June 2015.

Slager’s trial was set to begin in the spring. However, he is being prosecuted by Scarlett Wilson, who is also prosecuting Dylan Roof, who was charged with shooting and killing nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in June 2015. Wilson said a state Supreme Court order gives precedence to the church shooting.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman set a trial date for Oct. 31 and allowed Slager to be released on a $500,000 surety bond, as long as he stays in South Carolina, on house arrest in an undisclosed location.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham Suspends Presidential Campaign

Today, I’m suspending my campaign for president. I want to thank everyone who has taken this journey with me. You have honored me with your support,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in a Monday YouTube video message to his supporters, seen above.

Sen. Graham, whose campaign failed to qualify for the main stage on any of the 2016 Republican primary’s presidential debates, has also withdrawn from the South Carolina Republican primary. Ballot Access News notes that Monday was the official deadline for candidates to file a withdrawal from South Carolina’s primary election.

NPR’s Arnie Siepel wrote, “Graham was potentially facing an embarrassing loss in his home state and now [that he has withdrawn from the S.C. primary] has the leverage of endorsing one of his fellow GOP candidates.

[RELATED: Video: Donald Trump Reads Lindsey Graham’s Cell Phone Number Aloud During Speech]

I got into this race to put forward a plan to win a war we cannot afford to lose and to turn back the tide of isolationism that was rising in our party. I believe we’ve made enormous progress in this effort,” said Sen. Graham, explaining his objective in running for president.

He added, “Four months ago at the very first debate, I said that any candidate that did not understand that we need more American troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL was not ready to be commander-in-chief. At that time, no one stepped forward to join me. Today, most of my fellow candidates have come to recognize this is what’s needed to secure our homeland.

Sen. Graham told ABC News that he is not yet ready to announce who he will endorse for president, but said, “There’s lots of talented people in the race: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, others.

For more election coverage, click here.

South Carolina Sheriff Fires Deputy in Student Assault Investigation

School Resource Officer and Richland County Senior Deputy Ben Fields was fired on Wednesday, after a video that showed him assaulting a female student in a classroom at Spring Valley High School went viral on Monday.

During a press conference at noon on Wednesday, Sheriff Leon Lott said that Fields was terminated from the Richland County Sheriff’s department for violating policy and not using the proper techniques to arrest a student.

“Once he put her hands on her, he was allowed to do that,”  Lott said. “He placed her under arrest, he verbally told her that she was under arrest, he attempted to use force to make the arrest.”

[RELATED: Investigation Requested after Video shows Resource Officer Assaulting Student]

Lott explained that the “maneuver” used by Fields in which he flipped the student out of her desk and then threw her across the classroom, was not one that was taught in law enforcement training.

“That’s what caused me to be upset when I first saw that video, and what continues to upset me when I see that video, is the fact that he picked the student up and he threw the student across the room,” Lott said.

“That is not a proper technique and should not be used in law enforcement, and based on that, it is a violation of policy and approximately 20 minutes ago, school resource officer Ben Fields was terminated from the Richland County Sheriff’s department.”

Lott also said, however, that the student “was very disruptive” and disrespectful.

“We must not lose sight that this whole incident was started by this student. She is responsible for the initiation of this action. There is some responsibility falls on her. The action of our deputy, we take responsibility for that. But we also have to put responsibility on her,” he said.

Videos of the incident were released on Monday, and Lott requested that the FBI and the DoJ begin an independent investigation into Fields’ actions at Spring Valley High School. Federal authorities confirmed on Tuesday that the agencies have opened a civil rights probe into the arrest to determine if federal law was broken.

[RELATED: Officer in Student Assault Investigation Accused of Pepper Spraying Vet in 2005]

During a news conference on Tuesday, Lott said that in order to make a decision about Fields’ employment, the department needed to look at the whole picture.

“That’s not fair to fire somebody immediately when you have a snapshot of something. You have to do the investigation and get all the facts,” Lott said. “Again, from one snapshot, we saw one video that showed one thing, and then we get another video that shows her actually punching him.”

Lott said the department obtained an additional video showing the student punching Fields during the confrontation. However, that video has not been publicly released.

Officer in Student Assault Investigation Accused of Pepper Spraying Vet in 2005

The South Carolina deputy who is under investigation after videos circulated online showing him assaulting a female student in a classroom has a history of violence, according to a man who said he was assaulted by the officer in 2005.

Carlos Martin, a 36-year-old Army veteran, told New York Daily News that he filed a lawsuit against Ben Fields, the officer identified in the videos, after he was allegedly assaulted by Fields on Oct. 24, 2005.

Martin said that he had recently moved to Columbia, South Carolina, and was working at the Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson.

Fields, who had been responding to a separate complaint at the apartment complex Martin resided in, reportedly confronted Martin about playing loud music in his car.

Martin told the New York Daily News that an argument ensued, and Fields “snapped” after Martin called him “dude,” and slammed Martin on the ground.

Martin said Fields went on to use pepper spray on him and ended up using the entire can, which Martin said he was able to resist because of his military training. “He became even more violent because I didn’t react like most people would,” Martin explained.

Martin also said that his wife at the time, Tashiana Rogers, witnessed the assault, and came to the scene to take pictures with her cellphone. Martin claimed Fields told his partner to “get her black ass,” and the officer responded by taking Rogers’ phone and deleting the pictures.

Martin said that although he filed a lawsuit against Fields, and criminal charges against Martin and Rogers were ultimately dropped, it took four years for Martin’s case to go to trial. During that time, he was labeled as a criminal in the military. The lawsuit was eventually dropped due to lack of evidence of excessive force.

[RELATED: Investigation Requested After Video Shows Resource Officer Assaulting Student]

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced on Monday that he requested the FBI launch an independent investigation into Fields’ actions at Spring Valley High School. Federal authorities confirmed on Tuesday that both the FBI and the DoJ have opened a civil rights probe into the arrest to determine if federal law was broken.

Investigation Requested after Video Shows Resource Officer Assaulting Student

Officials in South Carolina are calling for a federal investigation after cell phone video showed a police officer throwing a Spring Valley High School student out of her desk and dragging her across the classroom.

Multiple videos were taken by other students in the classroom of the encounter between the white male officer and a black female student. The videos begin by showing the officer walking up to the girl and telling her to get up and leave the classroom. Shortly after speaking to the girl, the officer is seen putting her in a chokehold and flipping her desk over while she is still sitting in it as he attempts to remove her from it.

Leon Lott, the Richland County sheriff, said that the officer, a deputy with the sheriff’s department, was responding to a disruptive student refusing to leave the classroom.

“The student was told she was under arrest for disturbing school and given instructions which she again refused,” Lott said. “The video then shows the student resisting and being arrested by the SRO.”

Lott said he was “as upset as anybody and I’m very disturbed by what I saw,” and he has contacted the FBI to request an independent investigation into the incident.

“Appropriate action is going to be taken,” Lott said. “We’re going to do it as quick as possible. This isn’t something that’s going to linger on for weeks, or months or even days. It’s going to be done very swiftly.”

[UPDATE: Officer in Student Assault Investigation Accused of Pepper Spraying Vet in 2005]

The New York Times reported that Spring Valley High School is “a campus of about 2,000 students that is about 52 percent black and 30 percent white,” and that while officials have not released the names of either of the officer or the student, multiple students identified the officer as Ben Fields, a deputy who is assigned to the school.

One student who filmed the altercation, 18-year-old Niya Kenny, said she was also arrested for “disturbing schools” due to her reaction to the officer’s confrontation with the student.

“I was screaming ‘What the f, what the f is this really happening?’ I was praying out loud for the girl,” Kenny said. “I just couldn’t believe this was happening I was just crying and he said, since you have so much to say you are coming too. I just put my hands behind my back.”

Kenny said the student was asked by the teacher to leave the classroom for not participating. Kenny said when the student refused, an administrator was called in followed by the resource officer. Regarding the use of force by the officer, Kenny said she had never seen anything like it before.

“I know this girl don’t got nobody and I couldn’t believe this was happening,” Kenny said. “I had never seen nothing like that in my life, a man use that much force on a little girl. A big man, like 300 pounds of full muscle. I was like ‘no way, no way.’ You can’t do nothing like that to a little girl. I’m talking about she’s like 5’6″.”

A shorter video, seen below, shows the physical confrontation from a more direct angle following the verbal interaction.


City Council Passes Gun Ban On S.C. State Capitol Grounds

S.C. Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag off of State Capitol grounds on Thursday. Hours after Gov. Haley signed the bill, the Columbia City Council passed an ordinance temporarily banning weapons within a 250-foot perimeter surrounding the South Carolina State House grounds in an emergency meeting.

As reported previously by Truth In Media, a fight broke out during a protest at the State capitol grounds last week, but no threats have been made since then. So why is there a temporary ban?

According to the Free-Times.com, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said the emergency ordinance is not in response to any information or intelligence specifically in connection with Friday’s flag removal ceremony.

“No specific intelligence or information, we are just exercising prudence and caution,” Holbrook says. “Our goal is to have peaceful, lawful assembly. This helps us facilitate and make sure everybody is safe.”

“During this period of extraordinary circumstances that have arisen, the City of Columbia believes it is in the best interest of public safety, free speech and freedom of peacable assembly to temporarily extend the existing ban of weapons as enacted by the General Assembly within 250 feet of the borders of the Capitol Complex,” the ordinance reads.

Violators will be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500 or sent to jail for up to thirty days if caught with a weapon.

Truth In Media will be covering the flag removal ceremony on Friday.

At 10am, the Confederate Flag came down from the State capitol memorial.

Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Confederate Flag Represents Southern Pride, Not Racism

After the Confederate flag was seen being held by Dylann Roof, the suspect in a shooting massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, in pictures that surfaced on the Internet accompanied with a “racist manifesto,” the debate began over what the flag actually represented.

While Several major retailers responded by pulling all Confederate flag merchandise from their shelves, deeming it “offensive” and a “symbol of racism and slavery” and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the flag to be removed from the state’s capitol grounds, a recent survey claims that the majority of Americans don’t see the flag as a racist symbol.

According to a CNN/ORC Poll, 57 percent of Americans see the Confederate flag as more of a symbol of Southern pride and heritage than as a symbol of racism. 33 percent see it as a symbol of racism, and five percent say it is “both equally” while five percent say it is “neither.”

There was a notable divide between races, with only 17 percent of blacks and 66 percent of whites viewing the flag as a symbol of Southern pride, while 72 percent of blacks and 25 percent of whites view it was a symbol of racism.

While 87 percent of the individuals polled said that the Charleston shooting should be considered a hate crime, only 41 percent said it should be considered an act of terrorism.

The poll also found that there was a divide based on education, and that among the whites polled who said they had a college degree, 51 percent said the Confederate flag was a symbol of Southern pride and 41 percent said it was a symbol of racism, while among whites who said they did not have a college degree, 73 percent said the flag was a symbol of pride and 18 percent said it was a symbol of racism.

Although 57 percent of the Americans polled opposed redesigning the Confederate flag, 71 percent opposed removing tributes to those who fought in the Confederacy and 68 percent opposed renaming the streets and highways that are named after Confederate leaders, 55 percent supported removing Confederate flags from government property that is not part of a museum.

Related: Companies Ban Confederate Flag Sales, But Keep Nazi And Che Guevara Merchandise

According to the poll, 50 percent of Americans supported private companies choosing not to sell or manufacture items featuring the Confederate flag, while 47 percent opposed it. Looking at the demographics, 65 percent of blacks were in support of private companies halting the sale of Confederate flag merchandise, and 49 percent of whites were in support.

The poll was conducted through telephone interviews by ORC International on June 26-28, a little over a week after the Charleston shooting occurred on June 17. A total of 1,017 adult Americans were interviewed, and there was a margin of sampling error plus or minus three percentage points. 611 of the interviews were conducted with landline respondents and 406 of the interviews were conducted with cell phone respondents.

Take the Truth In Media Poll below:

Video: Brawl Gets Bloody At The SC Confederate Flag Memorial

Columbia, S.C.-  On Monday, a fight erupted between a group of flag supporters and protesters at the South Carolina Statehouse.

The blood on my face, the blood in my teeth, the blood on my hands is no comparison to the Southern blood that runs through my veins,” Joe Linder told CBS News.

Linder, who was hit during the fight, supports the Confederate flag and says “racism has no part” in it.

SC confederate flag rally

One Confederate flag supporter told her side of the story to Truth In Media.

We had flags and we were talking to the press and media, defending our heritage, which is under attack, and we made the message very very clear that we are not about racism or any of the sort, we are all for peaceful demonstrations and having logical discussions on this issue,” said the flag supporter.

“Unfortunately a black group showed up and began confronting us, shouting ‘racist’ in our faces, cursing at us. Twice i saw the cops had to intervene. I have over 30 minutes of video that I recorded of the black group circling us, shouting at us, and being very confrontational, despite the fact that we had a sign that read, ‘all lives matter’ and one that had pictures of black confederate veterans with a message that read, ‘these confederate lives matter.'”

According to witnesses, when a Confederate Flag was taken by a protester, a fight broke out into a busy street in front of the Statehouse.

We were having a peaceful demonstration to defend out heritage which is now under viscous attack. The hate and racism came from the other side not us,” said flag supporter.

Racial tensions are increasing on both sides as the debate of the Confederate flag continues in South Carolina.

7th Black Church In South Carolina Burning Since Charleston Shooting

Greeleyville, SC- Mount Zion A-M-E Church in Greeleyville South Carolina is burning to the ground. The fire started late this evening as firefighters at the scene are working to put out the blaze.

Greeleyville, a town of about 375 people, is located in Williamsburg County, South Carolina, and is more than an hour away from Charleston, where the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church occurred. The fire comes about a week after Mount Zion A-M-E was featured in a Los Angeles Times story about the long history of violence against black churches and 20 years after it was burned to the ground by two former members of the KKK.

Officials have no idea whether or not this fire was started by arson but what is a stunning statistic, Mt. Zion is the 7th church to burn since nine people were killed at Emanuel A-M-E church in Charleston.

Three of the recent fires across the south in black churches are suspected arson. The Washington Post reported that arson is suspected in three of the six fires, adding the College Hill Seventh Day Adventist in Knoxville, Tennessee to the list, where hay bales and a church van were burned on June 21.

As for Mt. Zion, this is not the first time Mount Zion has burned down. In 1995 two men who claimed they were operating on behalf of the KKK burned Mt. Zion. The 1995 fire came during a rash of fires at black churches, with more than 70 reported between 1995 and 1996.

The church was rebuilt a year later, with President Bill Clinton speaking at the re-dedication.

Clinton gave the church a plaque that read, “We must come together as one America to rebuild our churches, restore hope, and show the forces of hatred they cannot win.”

Did The U.S. Government Order Amazon To Stop Selling Confederate Flag Merchandise?

After the recent shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine people were killed, pictures surfaced online of the suspect, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, waving the Confederate Flag, and several major retailers reacted by pulling all Confederate flag merchandise from their shelves, deeming it “offensive” and a “symbol of racism and slavery.”

Amazon was one of major retailers that removed all Confederate flag merchandise, and on Thursday, InfoWars reported that the company “was ordered by the federal government not to sell items featuring the Confederate flag in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting.”

Citing a chat message between a customer and one of Amazon’s service reps, InfoWars  claimed that when asked about why there are “no Confederate flags for sale on Amazon,” Daniel V. from Amazon said that “due to national controversy regarding the Confederate flag due to recent issues on national news, by federal law retailers have been instructed to remove the Confederate flag from sale.”


Daniel V. goes on to say that retailers such as Walmart were also “instructed to remove all Confederate flags from sale,” and goes as far as to give a link to a story from CNN about how several major retailers “announced in quick succession that they would stop selling Confederate flag merchandise.”

Truth In Media contacted the office of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for a statement about whether the company was instructed to remove all Confederate flag merchandise by federal law. A representative from the company told Truth In Media, “We can confirm that Amazon acted independently to remove confederate flag merchandise.”

All Amazon customers have access to an “online chat” with the company’s customer service representatives, such as the one reported by InfoWars. If customers are looking to access this feature, they can sign into their Amazon accounts, select “Help,” click on “Contact Us,” and then select their type of problem and choose Chat as the method of contact.

We went through the channels and were connected with a customer service rep. from Amazon named “Rachel.”


Amazon-Chat-2When asked about why the Confederate flag is no longer available on Amazon.com, Rachel from Amazon said, “Amazon acted independently to remove Confederate flag merchandise on our website and we truly apologize for the inconvenience.”

Rachel from Amazon also said that she does not have “an exact reason why the item was removed from the website.” 

All of the answers we received from Amazon’s service rep. on their “online chat” were very textbook and in addition to not mentioning anything about federal law, they also did not include any links from mainstream media sources such as CNN in their replies.

Amazon has not responded to Truth In Media’s request for comment on the guidelines Amazon customer services representatives are required to follow when responding to questions on their website’s “online chat” feature.

Companies Ban Confederate Flag Sales, But Keep Nazi And Che Guevara Merchandise

Several major retailers have banned sales of the Confederate flag, after it was seen in photos being held by Dylann Roof, the suspect in the shooting that left nine people dead at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.

The major companies, which include Walmart, Amazon, eBay, Sears, Target and Etsy have cited similar reasons for the removal of Confederate flag merchandise, along the lines that it is “offensive” and is a “symbol of racism and slavery.”

While Walmart carried products that included the Confederate flag’s design up until Monday, it discontinued that merchandise after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the flag from the state capitol grounds.

Haley said that although many people in the state view the flag as a “symbol of respect, integrity and duty,” and a way “to honor the ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict,” others see it as a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”

Brian Nick, a spokesperson for Walmart, released a statement saying that the retailer intends to avoid carrying items that are offensive.

“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site,” Nick said. “We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly — this is one of those instances.”

The Gateway Pundit noted that while Walmart has committed to halting the sales of Confederate flags, it still sells posters glorifying Che Guevara, the “notorious anti-Black racist from Argentina who murdered hungry children and became an icon for leftists around the world for his role in the 1959 communist takeover of Cuba.”


In all, Walmart.com carries seventeen different posters and prints commemorating Guevara, ranging from $12.50 for a 24 x 36 Guevara print to $339.99 for a Guevara canvas.

The Blaze noted that Guevara “murdered Cubans because of their supposed affiliation with the U.S.” and said things such as “the Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and drink,” “the Negro has maintained his racial purity by his well known habit of avoiding baths,” and “The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!”

Johnna Hoff, a spokesperson for eBay, released a statement saying that the online retailer is banning merchandise containing the Confederate flag because it has “become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism.”

However, eBay also allows sales of merchandise commemorating Che Guevara, from T-Shirts to posters.


CNN reported that on Amazon, sales of three versions of the Confederate flag were “up 1,670% to 2,305% over a period of 24 hours,” and that one of the flags, which was priced at $1.80 plus shipping, is both “the ninth best-selling item in the Patio, Lawn & Garden department,” and “the top-selling item among all outdoor flags and banners sold on Amazon.”

Despite the sudden rise in sales, Amazon joined the group of retailers banning Confederate flag merchandise on Tuesday.

However, while it banned the material for being “offensive,” it still carries several products commemorating Nazi Germany, including a Swatika-themed iPhone 5 case for $5.99, a “#hitler” mug for $20.99, Playstation 4 Swastika-themed Console and Remote Controller skins for $21.99 and Hitler’s Nazi SS Flag for $7.35.


SC Lawmaker Defends Flying Of Confederate Battle Flag

If you watch the national media, you would think that the debate over the Confederate flag in South Carolina is over. The truth is the debate is just beginning.

Rep. Jonathon Hill (R-S.C.) told Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook about his thoughts on the Confederate battle flag on the State capitol grounds as well as his thoughts on the tragic event at Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, S.C.

Hill said, “First, there has been so much love and forgiveness expressed by the family members, by the church members, and how the community of Charleston has come together and the city over this incident. And that’s what the focus should be on because you’re going to defeat racism with love and respect and quite honestly–Christianity.”

“The flag didn’t kill anyone,” said Hill.

“It [Confederate flag] is currently not flying over the State house, it is flying next to the Confederate monument here on the State house grounds. I can’t think of a more appropriate place to fly it. It would be like having a Confederate flag flying next to a grave stone next to a fallen Confederate soldier,” said Hill.

Hill asked, “What are we going to do if we take down this flag? Are we also going to chisel out the words on the monument? Are we going to bulldoze down the monument, take down the monument altogether? If we start going down that road, then we’re going to begin to forget what happened during that dark period of our history.”

Sources tell Truth In Media that it would probably be weeks or months, maybe August, before Confederate flag legislation gets to a vote. In other words, it won’t be as fast as what is currently being reported.

In 2014, during a gubernatorial debate, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley debated libertarian candidate Steve French on the issue of the Confederate flag. French said the flag hindered economic growth while Gov. Haley defended the flag.

Cook stated that Gov. Haley did a complete 180 on the issue of the flag due to political pressure. Hill agreed.

The recent flag controversy has sparked many different reactions from the political right. As reported by Truth In Media, Senator and Presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-Ky) stated that the Confederate flag was a “symbol of slavery and murder.”

[RELATED: Rand Paul Speaks Out Against Confederate Flag as a Symbol of Slavery and Murder]

State Senator Lee Bright (R-S.C.) characterized the movement to remove the Confederate flag and other Confederate monuments as a “Stalinist Purge.”

While a national movement is calling for the flag to come down, some local residents say it should stay.

A recent poll sponsored by the Greenville News indicates that many in South Carolina agree with Senator Bright. The unscientific poll asks: Should the Confederate flag be removed from South Carolina’s State house? As of this publication, 32% voted ‘yes’ and 68% voted ‘no.’

flag poll

Rand Paul Speaks Out Against Confederate Flag as a Symbol of Slavery and Murder

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) joined the group of GOP presidential hopefuls speaking out against the Confederate flag on Tuesday, when he said that it is ultimately “a symbol of human bondage and slavery,” that should be placed in a museum.

In an interview with Jeffrey Kuhner, the host of the talk radio show The Kuhner Report, who calls himself “Liberalism’s Worst Nightmare,” Paul said that he agrees with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who recently changed her position and announced that she thinks the Confederate flag should be removed from state capitol grounds.

[quote_center]“I think the flag is inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery, and particularly when people use it obviously for murder and to justify hatred so vicious that you would kill somebody,” Paul said. “I think that symbolism needs to end, and I think South Carolina’s doing the right thing.”[/quote_center]

Referencing 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who has been charged with nine counts of murder after he confessed to opening fire during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on Wednesday, Paul said that the flag has now become “a symbol of murder.”

[quote_center]“There have been people who have used it for southern pride and heritage and all of that but really to I think to every African American in the country it’s a symbolism of slavery to them and now it’s a symbol of murder for this young man and so I think it’s time to put it in a museum,” Paul said.[/quote_center]

The New York Times reported that a website registered under Roof’s name in February, published a “racist manifesto,” along with pictures of Roof burning the American flag and waving the Confederate flag. While Roof’s direct involvement has not been confirmed, the manifesto’s author claimed that he had no choice, and that he felt he had to do something more than just talking on the Internet:

“I chose Charleston because it is the most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

The manifesto’s author wrote that he learned of the violent “black-on-white murders” from the website for the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white nationalist group.

The Guardian revealed that Earl Holt III, the president of the group, has contributed to the 2016 presidential campaigns of GOP candidates such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul.

Doug Stafford, a spokesman and strategist for Paul’s campaign, told Bloomberg that Paul will be “donating the funds to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund to assist the victims’ families.”

Other GOP presidential candidates speaking out in support of Haley’s charge to remove the Confederate flag from state capitol grounds include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who said South Carolina should do the same thing Florida did when it moved the flag “from the state grounds to a museum where it belonged.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who initially supported keeping the Confederate flag, because as he told CNN, “it works here,” changed his position on Monday, and pledged his support to Haley.

For more news related to the 2016 Presidential election, click here.

CAPTURED: What We Know About Church Shooting Suspect Dylann Roof

By Alex Pappas 

A 21-year-old man named Dylann Roof has been identified by the FBI as the suspect in the killing of nine churchgoers at the historic predominantly black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Thursday that Roof was apprehended by police in Shelby, N.C. Earlier Thursday, the FBI put out a bulletin, asking for tips and warning that the suspect is believed to be “armed and dangerous.”

According to a Facebook page that appears to belong to Roof, he is from Columbia, South Carolina and attended White Knoll High School. The page shows that Roof has 85 Facebook friends, including a number of black people.

Shelby, N.C. is about 4 hours away from Charleston, according to Google Maps.

The patches on his jacket in his Facebook photo have drawn notice: one appears to be a flag from apartheid-era South Africa, while another one appears to be the Rhodesian flag.

Reuters, citing an uncle, reported that Roof was recently given a .45-caliber pistol for his birthday.

A Producer at WLTX News19 posted a photo appearing to be of Roof sitting on the hood of a car with a “Confederate States of America” flag. The car looks similar to the one in surveillance photos from the scene of the crime.

According to the Charleston Post and Courier, Roof “has been arrested twice in South Carolina as an adult, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. He was jailed March 1 in Lexington County on a drug charge and again on April 26 on a trespassing charge.”

According to police, a man opened fire on parishioners during a bible study Wednesday night, killing nine people including the church’s pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

Pinckney is also a Democratic state senator in South Carolina.

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SC GOP Governor Nikki Haley Signs Bill Requiring Police to Wear Body Cameras

The above-embedded Associated Press video captured the moment last Wednesday when South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed S 47 into law, a bill requiring all police in the state to wear body cameras.

Governor Haley signed the bill alongside family members of Walter Scott, an unarmed African-American man who was fatally gunned down by North Charleston, SC Police Officer Michael Slager during an April 4 traffic stop over a malfunctioning taillight. Slager has since been fired and charged with murder over his role in the tragedy.

[RELATED AUDIO: Recording of Officer After Walter Scott Shooting Doesn’t Sound Remorseful]

According to The Post and Courier, the bill grants state law enforcement agencies a nine month grace period to obtain state funding and implement the body cameras. WYFF-TV notes that it also provides funding for the cameras and prohibits the footage taken by them from being obtained by the public through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Cato Institute’s Matthew Feeney wrote, “Among those permitted to access police body camera footage [under the South Carolina law] are: the subjects of a body camera footage, criminal defendants, civil litigants, and attorneys representing any of these people.”

The bill was introduced in December of 2014, but failed to gain traction until Walter Scott’s highly-publicized officer-involved death in April of 2015.

Said Governor Haley at the bill’s signing ceremony, “What did happen was we saw a sad tragedy, we saw a good man die when he didn’t have to, and we saw a few amazing things happen — we saw everybody step up and say, rather than being victims to this, we’re going to lift everyone up and make the state better, and that’s why this is a proud day. That’s why this is a good day, because this was about saying we don’t ever want a day like that to happen again… This is going to strengthen the people of South Carolina, this is going to strengthen law enforcement, and this is going to make sure that Walter Scott did not die without us realizing we had a problem.

I’m sure my brother is looking down and saying: ‘Good job. Good job, South Carolina,’” said Walter Scott’s brother Anthony Scott, according to The Aiken Standard.

Said Democratic State Senator Gerald Malloy of the law, “It is a great day in South Carolina, because we become the first state in the country that has a requirement for all law enforcement to end up wearing these body cameras.

South Carolina Grand Jury Indicts Former Officer For Murder Of Walter Scott

A South Carolina grand jury indicted former police officer Michael Slager on Monday for the murder of 50-year-old Walter Scott. Slager fired eight shots at Scott’s back as Scott ran away from him following a traffic stop in North Charleston on April 4.

As Truth In Media previously reported, Slager was fired and charged with murder by state law enforcement almost immediately after a video of the shooting surfaced.

The video, which was captured on a bystander’s cellphone, showed a different narrative of the shooting than what Slager originally reported.

An initial statement from Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor claimed that during a routine traffic stop, in which Slager pulled Scott over for a broken taillight, Scott fled the scene, and Slager “deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him.” When that did not work, the statement claimed that “an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device,” and that Slager “resorted to his service weapon” and shot Scott, only after Scott “gained control of the Taser” and attempted to use it against Slager.

In contrast, the video of the shooting, filmed by 23-year-old barber Feidin Santana, shows a different scene.

Warning: The following video contains graphic content.


The video of the shooting that was taken by Santana appears to show Slager running back to the initial scene of the altercation, picking up his Taser, and then running back to Scott, dropping the Taser next to Scott’s body.

Following the release of the video from the shooting, the State Law Enforcement Division of South Carolina released a video from the dash-cam in Slager’s car. The video shows Slager approaching Scott’s car, and notifying him that he is being stopped for a broken taillight. After speaking with Scott, Slager returns to his car, and moments later, Scott jumps out of his car and started running away.

While the dash-cam video does include the audio of the moments when Slager attempted to stop Scott with a Taser, it does not show video footage of the two, and it does not include the moments when Slager pulls out his gun and begins to shoot at Scott.

The Associated Press reported that Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson said that although Slager has been jailed without bond since his arrest, and faces 30 years to life in prison, if convicted, the death penalty does not seem to apply in this case because there were “no aggravating circumstances such as robbery or kidnapping as required under South Carolina law.”