Forensic Video Analysis System Supports Evidence Collection in Charleston, SC

A pile of newspapers bundled together with string.

Following the tragic shooting of nine African-American churchgoers attending a Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in June 2015, law enforcement in Charleston, South Carolina, acted quickly to identify Dylann Roof as the suspect. Using surveillance footage from the church, law enforcement pulled photos of Roof and distributed them throughout the media. Less than 16 hours after the attack, police had arrested the suspect nearly four hours away from Charleston. Police were able to quickly identify and apprehend this dangerous felon, in part, due to new technology which the Charleston Police Department had recently acquired with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

In March 2015, the department used funding from BJA’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program to purchase a forensic video analysis system which expanded its digital examination capabilities. No one could have predicted how the new system would impact the very first case in which it was used just three months later.  A full report on this success story can be read at