Gov. Nikki Haley’s office released documents Wednesday detailing communications dealing with her response to the Charleston church shooting in June of last year.
The Associated Press reports over 10,000 documents were released to media organizations as the result of an open records request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The emails show the passionate, sometimes angry responses both towards and in defense of the flag after photos were found of admitted Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof holding a Confederate battle flag. Federal prosecutors have argued Roof had hoped to start a “race war” when he killed State Sen. Clementa Pinckney and eight others at the church on June 17, 2015. Haley called for the flag’s removal five days later.
Legislators voted to remove the flag a week later. It eventually came down permanently in a July 10 ceremony.
Some of the calls for the Confederate battle flag to come down after the Emanuel AME Church shooting came from both whites and minorities who said it was blatantly offensive in the wake of the massacre. Others strongly defended the flag’s presence, saying it had nothing to do with Roof’s actions.
The release also included formal documents the Governor’s Office that show some of the behind-the-scenes work occurring in response to the Charleston shootings. One email from a staffer told agencies their employees did not have to answer their phones with the standard “It’s a great day in South Carolina” greeting for nine days after the shooting. Haley had asked agencies to use the greeting shortly after taking office in 2011. Another email from the Confederate Relic Room & Museum estimated it could cost as much as $1 million to remove the flag from its spot behind the Confederate Soldiers Monument.