Till was murdered in Mississippi in 1955.
Photograph by Ed Wagner/Chicago Tribune
Emmett Till was murdered 52 years ago. The death of the
The crime remains unsolved.
On Wednesday the House of Representatives passed nearly unanimously legislation to create a “Cold Case” squad within the Justice Department to pursue these decades-old murders. The Senate is expected to follow suit in short order. (I wish I could have faith in Justice right now. But alas…)
The legislation passed yesterday was introduced in the Senate during the 109th congress. The bipartisan bill was cosponsored by former Republican Senator Jim Talent of
Alvin Sykes, a
"It's very important to this country that the U.S. Congress says for
The bill is called the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, after a 14-year-old black youth from Chicago who was found murdered in 1955. He'd been visiting relatives in
The case has never been solved. But public outrage surrounding the murder was one of many incidents that helped trigger the civil rights movement.
"This legislation helps rectify the inequities of the past and provides justice to those it has seemingly forgotten," said Republican Rep. Kenny Hulshof of
The bill designates officials within the civil rights sections of the Justice Department and the FBI to investigate and prosecute unsolved cases that occurred before 1970 and resulted in death.
The convictions of now-old men in recent years for these heinous, all-too-human acts of the past are welcome news to me and I hope that many more of these unsolved crimes are prosecuted and convictions secured. That they have lived free for so long is offense enough. The ones still living must not be allowed to die free.