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Emmett Till Investigation: Closure of probe into lynching of 14-year-old Black boy demonstrates lack of justice

The U.S. Department of Justice this week closed a reopened investigation into the murder of Emmett Till without filing new charges.

Our criminal justice system has never been able to provide justice in the tragic death of Till, who was just 14 years old when he was brutally murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi on Aug. 28, 1955.

This week’s decision makes clear once again that no one involved in the lynching of a teenage Black boy will ever face accountability or consequences.

And over 66 years after Till’s death, Black boys and girls still face extreme danger from being Black in the United States. They can face anti-Black crime perpetrated by their neighbors. They can be targeted – even killed – by law enforcement that exists ostensibly to protect them.

At school, they face disciplinary measures that criminalize alleged misbehavior and can become involved with the criminal justice system at an early age.

The tentacles of white supremacy and anti-Black policies remain in 2021, and we have a lot of work to do as a nation to ensure that every child in the United States is safe and has the opportunity to thrive. 

Our thoughts are with the family of Emmett Till, and we will continue to stand with them in their pursuit of justice.

Image above: A photo of Emmett Till is seen on his grave marker in Alsip, Illinois, on May 4, 2005. (Credit: Robert A. Davis/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)