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News » 5 things to know about Sen. Clementa Pinckney following his assassination in Charleston

5 things to know about Sen. Clementa Pinckney following his assassination in Charleston


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Sen. Clementa Pinckney was a servant leader in Charleston

State Sen. Clementa Pinckney was one of nine Black people shot and killed by Dylann Roof during a racially motivated attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Before being killed by a racist sociopath, Pinckney accomplished many outstanding things in life.

Here are five things to know about the deceased congressman.

He was a family man

Pickney, 41, was married to Jennifer Benjamin in 1993 after meeting his wife while the two attended separate colleges in the South Carolina area. They have two daughters.

He was the youngest Black person to be elected to South Carolina’s legislature

At age 23, Pickney was elected to South Carolina’s legislature in 1996. After earning his master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina, he was elected to the state Senate in 2000.

He was named a future leader by Ebony magazine

In 1999, he was named one of 30 leaders of the future by Ebony magazine. He was also named one of 20 Under 30 by Savannah Morning News.

He has served as pastor since the age of 18

Ministry was always a huge part of his life. He began preaching at age 13 and became a pastor by 18. He became pastor of Mt. Horr AME Church at 26 and was named the pastor of Emanuel AME in 2010.

He was a vocal leader who fought the injustice of Walter Scott’s death

Pickney was one of several leaders who spoke out against the death of Walter Scott by the hands of a White police officer. He also co-sponsored a bill that would push for all cops to have body cameras.


  1. Mo on June 19, 2015 at 11:22 am


  2. cupcake333 on June 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    sounds like its possible he was the target of this hate crime , he was an advocate against police brutality possible patsie? umm

  3. Likewaterforchoc on June 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    RIP, Clementa was a hero in our hometown. I grew up with him and his siblings and his sister was my classmate and we sang in the school choir together when he would come back to our school to visit.The person that you see on TV, is actually the person that he was (which is rare these days). He was just a nice likable guy. He started preaching at 13 and I remember going to a church that he preached at when he was around 16. I’m deeply saddened by this.

  4. Roger Marx Desenberg on June 19, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Vote for Marx for President to stop the murders. He is America’s best hope. He is the only candidate that has the power, character, money, intellect and hero mentality to save America from the criminals in US Govt. Find out why the CIA and Google block his web sites. Find out the truth. Vote for Marx in 2016, MLK had a dream, Marx has the plan. No more murders of blacks for traffic stops nor political views. These white racists religious Christian fanaticals must be stopped!

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