White supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof staged a hunger strike while on federal death row because he reportedly felt he ws being “targeted by staff” and was “verbally harassed and abused without cause.”
It doesn’t seem that 25-year-old Roof, who killed nine black church members during a Bible study in 2015, sees the irony in what he’s alleging. Roof’s claims were discovered in letters he wrote to The Associated Press, according to NBC News.
Roof claims that the federal prison staff in Terre Haute, Indiana, feel justified in their conduct “since I am hated by the general public.” Roof added that he is “treated disproportionately harsh.”
Roof wrote in his letter to the AP that he went on the hunger strike to protest the treatment he received from a Bureau of Prisons disciplinary hearing officer, over earlier complaints that he was allegedly refused access to the law library, and access to a copy machine to file legal papers.
A person familiar with the matter told NBC that Roof had been on a hunger strike but was no longer on one, as of this week. The person couldn’t immediately provide specific details about the length of the hunger strike or whether medical staff had to intervene.
Roof’s letter, which was dated Feb. 13, indicated he was already “several days” into a hunger strike, and he wrote in a follow-up letter that the protest ended a day later after corrections officers allegedly forcibly tried to take his blood and insert an IV into his arm, causing him to briefly pass out.
“I feel confident I could have gone much, much longer without food,” Roof wrote in the Feb. 16 follow-up letter. “It’s just not worth being murdered over.”
A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Prisons said the agency had no comment on Roof’s allegations, citing privacy concerns.
Roof’s lawyers said in a statement that they were working with officials to address the issues presented in the letters.
Roof’s lawyers filed an appeal to his federal convictions and death sentence last month, arguing that he was mentally ill when he represented himself at his capital trial.
We’ll keep you posted on any updates.