A South Carolina judge—disciplined in the past for using the n-word in an open courtroom—Friday called for the community to rally around the family of accused church shooter Dylann Roof at a hearing, according to the New York Daily News.
“We have victims—nine of them. But we also have victims on the other side,” Charleston County Magistrate James “Skip” Gosnell Jr. said in the courtroom filled with anguished relatives of victims of the shooting Wednesday at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the report notes.
“We must find it in our heart at some point in time not only to help those that are victims but to also help his family as well,” he continued.
The Daily News notes that Gosnell, who was branded a racist sympathizer on social media, has a history of putting his foot in his mouth.
“There are four kinds of people in this world: black people, white people, rednecks and n—gers,” he told a black defendant in a November 2013 bond-reduction hearing, the report says. Gosnell later apologized, saying he was merely repeating a statement he heard from an African-American lawman, the Daily News reports.
On Friday, social media users condemned Gosnell for bringing Roof’s family into the hearing on the church attack.
“Judge James Gosnell in the complete wrong to give sympathy first to #DylannRoof’s family. But it’s South Carolina,” tweeted Vincent Obisie.
Gosnell offered no apology, the report says.
“I set the tone of my court,” he told Fox News. “It’s my courtroom, I take control over it and I conduct business within the scope of the law.”
Read more at the New York Daily News.