The Obama administration is fast-tracking a huge payout to the agencies helping victims of the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting, giving the families of those slain millions more in potential assistance than victims from Sandy Hook, Boston, and other mass murders.
The White House will send $29 million to South Carolina in the wake of the June 17 shooting that left nine people dead
in a historic black church, according to a Reuters report.
According to Reuters, a chunk of the $29 million — which was allocated as part of the government's national Crime Victim Assistance Formula Grant program — can help provide services to the families of those killed. Among the dead was Pastor Clementa Pinckney, who also served as a South Carolina state senator.
The $29 million payout is significantly more than what was given to assist the victims of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting
($2.9 million); the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting
($1.5 million); and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing
The Department of Justice press release detailing the payout for the Aurora victims
read, "The total number of victims of this crime is more than 1,500. This includes the twelve killed, sixty-nine wounded and their families, other people in the theater complex at that time, people evacuated from an apartment complex where explosive devices were discovered, and first responders to the emergency."
Typically, the funds go through a variety of first responder units and groups involving everything from grief counselors and funeral assistance that swoop in after momentous tragedies.
In the case of Colorada, for instance, the money went to The Colorado Department of Public Safety. That agency provided funding to other Colorado agencies, including the 18th District Attorney’s Office, Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, the Aurora Mental Health Center, Denver and Aurora Police Departments, and Jefferson and Arapahoe County Sheriffs’ Departments.
The release pertaining to the Sandy Hook
shooting makes no mention of the number of victims, but the massacre did result in the death of 20 children and seven adults. The shooter, Adam Lanza, shot and killed himself after the shooting.
Three spectators at the Boston Marathon were killed in the 2013 bombing, and roughly 280 people were injured. A manhunt for the two bombers resulted in the death of one and the arrest of the other just days later. The surviving bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,
was sentenced to death in May.
The announcement regarding the Sandy Hook payout came a year after the shooting; the Aurora announcement occurred seven months after that shooting; and the Boston payout announcement came nine months after the bombing.
The Reuters story announcing the Charleston payout came just two days after the shooting.
According to InvestmentWatch,
the government made other payouts to the Sandy Hook victims following the initial $1.5 million, and the total amount of federal assistance given to them now adds up to $14.3 million — still less than half of what was given to Charleston.
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