America is mourning the loss of nine people killed in a shooting at a church in South Carolina.
Hours after the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, police described it as a “hate crime”.
Yesterday, a day after the massacre, suspected gunman Dylann Roof was in custody, arrested in neighbouring North Carolina.
But even the manner of his arrest says a lot about race relations in the US, particularly with regards to the police.
Roof, suspected of murdering nine people in cold blood, was escorted from a building with police barely laying a finger on him. The media were kept back and Roof was even issued with a bulletproof vest.
Compare and contrast with this image of Eric Garner, a New York resident who died after being put in an illegal chokehold for 15 seconds. His suspected crime? Selling single cigarettes without tax stamps.
It’s of course worth nothing that the police who arrested Roof were doing so fully in accordance with the law, while those who arrested Garner were not.
Nevertheless, last December a grand jury decided to not indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who put Garner in the chokehold.
Meanwhile, earlier this year a South Carolina police officer was charged with murder after shooting unarmed black man Walter Scott in Charleston as he ran away.