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South Carolina state Rep. Norman “Doug” Brannon (R) said Friday night he plans on introducing a bill to remove the Confederate flag near his state’s capitol building.
The legislation was inspired by Wednesday evening’s mass shooting that claimed nine lives at historic black church in Charleston, S.C., he said.
“I’m not a politician tonight,” Brannon told host Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s “All In” on Friday evening.
“But I do have access, and I will introduce that bill in December,” he said of the proposed change in state law. “I will pre-file that bill in December when we go back into session.”
Suspect Dylann Storm Roof, 21, allegedly opened fire on congregants at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church earlier this week.
Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor and a South Carolina state senator, was among those killed in the attack.
Brannon said Friday he was mourning the loss of his fellow Palmetto State lawmaker.
“I had a friend die on Wednesday night for no other reason than he was a black man,” Brannon said.
“Sen. Pinckney was an incredible human being,” he added. “I don’t want to talk politics but I am going to introduce the bill for that reason.”
“I want you to understand — I am very upset about the death of my friend and his eight dear friends,” Brannon told Hayes.
Roof allegedly uttered racial epithets before attacking church-goers at Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday evening.
He had a $1 million bond levied against him Friday, after he was arrested following a 14-hour manhunt the day before.
Brannon’s legislation would take down a Confederate flag at a monument for Southern soldiers in South Carolina’s state capital of Columbia.
The White House on Friday said President Obama believes the historic emblem “belongs in a museum.”
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) admitted Thursday she could not lower the symbol without the approval of her state’s legislature.
Fresh controversy over the Confederate flag emerged when reports alleged Roof had the insignia on his car’s license plate.
Critics charge it is insensitive to fly the controversial symbol at full-mast after lowering U.S. and South Carolina flags at the state capitol in honor of the shooting’s victims.
The Confederate flag, they say, recalls the racism and slavery of the South during the Civil War.
Advocates argue that it instead represents an important chapter in American history, one that should not be ignored for political correctness.