Illinois honors victims of Charleston church shootings

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is honoring the nine victims of last month’s shooting at a historic black church.

The Illinois Senate this week approved a resolution designating June 17 as the Emanuel AME Day of Remembrance.

The nine were gunned down during a Bible study at the Charleston church on June 17. Authorities are investigating the killings as a hate crime.

Sen. Donne Trotter of Chicago sponsored the resolution in honor of his friend and fraternity brother, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, and the other victims. Pinckney was a South Carolina state senator.

Trotter says Pinckney had the power to change policy and to change minds. He says Pinckney “practiced honorably.”

Trotter says the victims will be remembered “for their faith in God and their belief in a better mankind.”