The murders at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. last June thrust two of the state’s top public officials into the forefront. Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, and then Mayor of Charleston Joe Riley, a Democrat. Both leaders received praise for their roles in the aftermath.
The two were co-recipients of this year’s leadership awards from Furman University’s Riley Institute.
Earlier this year, Haley and Riley sat down for a joint interview with the Institute and reflected on the events of last June 17th. The Pastor of Mother Emanuel Church, State Senator Clemente Pinckney of Jasper County was among the victims. Gov. Haley begins the conversation by recounting how she had left a message on Pinkney’s cell phone offering her assistance upon hearing of the shootings.
“I never thought that he wouldn’t get that call,” Haley said. “It was a legislative day. I assumed he was in the legislature (in Columbia). I assumed he was in meetings, and so it never crossed my mind at that point that he would never hear that message,” Haley also said.
According to Mayor Riley, “I knew that Sen. Pinckney wasn’t there because the legislature was in session. He was a dutiful member of the legislature, so I knew he wasn’t there. And when I went to the church, it was cordoned off, and asked them if Sen. Pinckney had arrived yet … because I knew he would be coming down (to Charleston) at break-neck speed. And they said, Mayor, Sen. Pinckney was in there.”
To hear the remaining conversation with Gov. Haley and Mayor Riley listen here …………..