President Obama to attend Pinckney’s funeral Friday in Charleston

June 25, 2015

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President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy Friday at the Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral, a White House official said.

First lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also will travel to Charleston to attend the services for the fallen Democrat, who also served as a state senator, the official confirmed Monday.

Pinckney was one of nine people fatally shot Wednesday night during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church.

Sources say Obama also is expected to meet with the other victims’ families during his visit.

Dylann Roof, 21, is charged with their murders and is being held at the Charleston County jail. Charleston police have classified the attack as a hate crime.

Last week, Obama spoke about the killings, noting that he knew Pinckney and other Emanuel AME members personally. And he said the “senseless” murders were particularly heartbreaking because they occurred at a church where people seek solace.

“The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history,” he said. “This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked. And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.”

Pinckney’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at TD Arena at the College of Charleston. Interment will follow at St. James AME Church of Marion.