President Barack Obama, on December 16, 2016, signed legislation that will get rid of time limitations on civil rights cases that happened prior to 1970. This will allow cold cases that happened during the Jim Crow era, to be reopened by local, state and national law enforcement officials.
This is an expansion on a bill titled the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime bill. The bill was originally introduced in 2005, by activist Alvin Sykes. He named the proposed bill after Till, after he promised Till’s mom that he would have the case of her son ( who was brutally lynched and murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman in 1955) reopened. The lynching of the 14 Till, by two white men who would ultimately be found not guilty by a racist all-white jury, is believed by many to be the last straw the sparked the civil rights movement.
In 2008, the bill was made into law.
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BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE
Emmett Louis Till was born on July 25, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois, he was the son of Mamie Carthan and Louis Till. In the late summer of 1955, while visiting family in Money, Mississippi, he allegedly made the unfortunate mistake of being an African-American male and flirting with a 21 year old white woman (Carolyn Bryant ) while on vacation in the segregated south.
ROY ON THE LEFT, J.W. ON THE RIGHT.
A few nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam broke into the house of Till’s uncle and kidnapped the teenage boy.
A few days later Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie river, shot and mutilated.
Till’s body was returned to Chicago, where his mother insisted on giving him a public funeral and an open casket to show the brutality of his lynching.
On September 1955, both Bryant and Milan were acquitted of the kidnapping and death of Emmett Till.
Bryant and Milam would publicly admit to the kidnapping and brutal murder of Till in Look Magazine, but because of the double Jeopardy law, they could not be recharged for the crime.
HIS LEGACY :
MYRLIE EVERS, the widow of civil rights activist Medgar Evers stated:
“Somehow [Till’s death and trial] struck a spark of indignation that ignited protests around the world… It was the murder of this 14-year-old out-of-state visitor that touched off a world-wide clamor and cast the glare of a world spotlight on Mississippi’s racism.”
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