Report of $29M sent to SC for Emanuel shooting false, DOJ says

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from Reuters,

A Reuters report that says the Department of Justice is sending $29 million to South Carolina for the families of the Emanuel AME Church shooting victims is false.

That’s according to Department of Justice officials who say the Reuters reporters greatly misunderstood the function of the government’s national Crime Victim Assistance Formula Grant program.

What’s correct about the Reuters report is that South Carolina did receive $29 million through the grant program, but that money is used to help victims’ assistance programs across the state.

Once the money is received, it is distributed to nonprofit organizations that work with victims through the state’s Department of Public Safety, officials at the Justice Department told ABC News 4. In South Carolina, officials place priority on sexual assault victims, spousal abuse victims, child abuse and neglect victims, and previously underserved victims of violent crime.

VOCA grants are awarded to both private nonprofit and public agencies, according to the DPS.

Even after the money is distributed to the victims’ assistance programs, it does not go directly to the victims — in this case the families of the nine people killed at Emanuel AME.

Instead, that money is used to provide services and resources for those people who need help.

The grant program has a second unit where families could seek financial assistance from the federal government, but they would have to individually apply for that money. It does not come from the $29 million allocated by the federal government.

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