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Emmett Till investigation closed by feds; no new charges

Emmett Till
This May 4, 2005, file photo shows Emmett Till's photo on his grave marker in Alsip, Ill. Sixty-five years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi, Congress is set to approve legislation designating lynching as a hate crime under federal law. The bill, named after Till, is intended to send a powerful message to confront violent racism and hatred that continues decades after the black teenager was murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

JACKSON, Miss.  — The U.S. Justice Department is ending its investigation into the 1955 lynching of the Black teenager Emmett Till.

The announcement came Monday after officials spoke to his relatives. Till was killed after witnesses said he whistled at a white woman in Mississippi.

The killing galvanized the civil rights movement after Till’s mother insisted on an open casket. Two men were acquitted by an all-white jury.

They died years ago. Officials reopened an investigation after a 2017 book quoted Carolyn Bryant Donham as saying she lied when she claimed Till grabbed her.

The Justice Department says there’s insufficient evidence to prove Donham ever told the author that any part of her trial testimony was untrue.

 

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