Engel Statement on 5 Years Since Mother Emanuel Church Shooting

Engel Statement on 5 Years Since Mother Emanuel Church Shooting

Congressman Eliot L Engel issued the following statement:

"Five years ago today, a heinous act of domestic terrorism took the lives of nine innocent Americans at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This act of hate shook the national consciousness, and reminded us once again that the scourges of racism and gun violence remain a prominent part of the American story. 

"Five years later and sadly not much has changed. But, perhaps today our society is willing to confront these problems head-on, in a way it never has before. Millions of Americans across the country have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest the systemic forces of racism, police brutality, and abuse of power. I have joined them in my district, across both the Bronx and Westchester, to call for immediate reform, while proudly reaffirming that Black Lives Matter. Last week, the House introduced sweeping legislation to hold police more accountable and ban excessive force. I was proud to be an original cosponsor of that bill.

"But even as we draw closer to passing these police reforms, the reality remains that gun violence is still as prevalent as ever. Despite our efforts in the House, commonsense measures to expand background checks, ban assault weapons, and institute tougher gun safety measures languish due to Republican obstinance. Reducing violence in our communities must include stricter gun control measures. We have lost far too many American lives to this. On this fifth anniversary of the Charleston shooting, I call on Senator McConnell to finally move forward with a vote on H.R. 8."