Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine African-American church members at a Bible study class inside a Charleston, South Carolina church in 2015, has launched a hunger strike while on federal death row. He’s claiming, in letters to the Associated Press that he’s being “targeted” by prison staff, “verbally harassed and abused without cause,” and “treated disproportionately harsh.”
In a letter dated February 13, Roof, who is now 25, claims that prison staff in the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, feel it’s okay to treat him badly because “I am hated by the general public.”
One person with knowledge of the matter said Roof had been on a hunger strike but ended it earlier this week, WGN9 reports. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the person wasn’t able to provide details as to how long Roof’s hunger strike lasted or whether a medical intervention was needed.
In his letter to the AP, Roof noted he began the hunger strike to protest the way he was treated by a Bureau of Prisons disciplinary hearings officer. Roof was apparently upset after being prohibited from using the law library to access a copy machine in order to file legal papers.
Roof added he was “several days” into the hunger strike and that his protest ended after corrections officers tried to take his blood and forcibly inserted an IV into his arm, causing him to briefly pass out, he wrote.
“I feel confident I could have gone much, much longer without food,” Roof wrote. “It’s just not worth being murdered over.”
According to a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman, the allegations couldn’t immediately be verified. Citing privacy concerns she added that the agency had no comment on the allegations.