Riley, who is white, can still hear the sobs and the moans as families learned that their loved ones would never be coming home.
He has attended each funeral.
He has assailed the violence as a product of racism and hate.
“The only reason someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate,” Riley said hours after the killings, flanked by members of the black community. “It is the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine.”
His forthright statements reminded many in this stately city of 130,000 why they keep reelecting him.