The white 21-year-old man reportedly identified as the suspect in a Wednesday night mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina that left nine people dead appears to have white supremacist leanings, according to an expert on domestic extremism.
Mark Pitcavage, the director of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League, told TPM on Thursday that two patches Dylann Storm Roof wore on his jacket in a photo from what appears to be his Facebook page are symbols of the white supremacist movement.
Pitcavage said a patch with orange, white and blue stripes on the upper right side of Roof’s jacket is the flag of South Africa’s Apartheid government. The patch below it is the flag of the former white-controlled country of Rhodesia, which later became Zimbabwe, he added.
“People don’t randomly have those symbols on a jacket,” Pitcavage told TPM. “You have to have a certain point of view, a certain world view.”
TPM associate editor Nick R. Martin contributed reporting.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.