Over this summer, some major news events took place. Keep reading if you missed out.
First, nine people were killed during a prayer service on June 17th in Charleston, South Carolina.
21-year-old Dylan Storm Roof was arrested for the crime. Roof’s website, “The Last Rhodesian,” displays posts of him burning an American flag, photos of him at historic Confederate sites and him aiming guns at things, which shows why the police determined this to be a hate crime.
Roof fled approximately 245 miles away from the scene to North Carolina. He was arrested at a traffic stop the morning after the shooting.
There were nine victims included, which include the church’s pastor, a librarian, teachers and a South Carolina state senator. All of the victims were devoted members of the church.
The shooting brought about significant political and media controversy about white supremacy. After the shooting, many flags all over South Carolina were flown at half-mast. Many of those were Confederate flags.
Protests were held advocating for the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House. On July 6th, 2015, the South Carolina Senate voted to remove the flag.
On May 15th, a jury voted unanimously in favor of the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber from April of 2013. He was convicted of 17 different charges, all punishable by death.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were arrested for the crime. Tamerlan was killed while fleeing the police after the bombing.
Tsarnaev was offered the option of death by lethal injection, or life in prison without parole. He received the capital punishment.
“If there is any lingering doubt, let there be no more.” Tsarnaev said after a long silence. “I did it, along with my brother, I ask Allah to have mercy on me, my brother and my family.”
Lastly, on June 26th, the United States Supreme Court declared that it is unconstitutional for states to deny same-sex marriage rights. The Obergefell vs. Hodges case lifted bans from the thirteen states that previously did not allow same sex marriage.
“This ruling is a victory for America,” said President Barack Obama in a speech regarding the legislation. “For all our differences, we are one people. Stronger together than we could ever be alone. That has always been our story.”
States with previously held bans include: Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas, Ohio and Tennessee.
The Supreme Court’s decision caused the hashtag #LoveWins to trend for weeks on twitter. Facebook created a custom filter that applied a semi-transparent gay pride flag over a picture.