Petitions

Racially Motivated Killings Still Murder 50 years Later! Renew Emmett Till Act NOW!

Dear Members of the House of Representatives:

There are suspects still alive who are responsible for the racially motivated killings of many African American individuals and their supporters during the 1960s, in particular. We, the petitioners, seek your immediate action to vote in support of the bill already passed in the Senate: the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016. A group of civil rights organizations* are supporting the efforts of families who lost loved ones due to these hateful acts and who still seek justice. Despite their efforts, perpetrators continue their own lives undisturbed by the imposition of legal consequences.

Families already listed on the FBI Unsolved Civil Rights Murders list, for example, the children of Wharlest Jackson, Corporal Roman Ducksworth, Frank Morris, Johnnie Mae Chappell and many more join on behalf of families not on the FBI list of unsolved civil rights murders (for example, Lee Roy Holloway, James and Marvin Walker, John Sterling and Lonnie Merrit of Atlanta, Georgia) urge you to continue and improve the work of the original  Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007 which will sunset in 2017). This petition includes others who join with us to urge you to vote in support of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016 before it is too late.  There is much unfinished justice work to be done.

The Reauthorization Act strengthens the resource availability for joint efforts between the Department of Justice, the FBI and local law enforcement. Those never held accountable for ordering the murders of hundreds of individuals may now, finally, face responsibility for their crimes. The Reauthorization Act also strengthens the original law by applying to racially motivated killings occurring after 1969.

No one has ever undertaken a complete accounting of how many people died or simply disappeared as a result of the racist domestic terrorism of the previous and ongoing civil rights eras. The Emmett Till Act is an effort to seize this moment in history, to hold accountable those remaining killers, and to reveal the actual truth about the impact of the state supported institutions of racial violence and the failure of the legal system to promptly address these grievous inequities.

We, the petitioners, seek your immediate action to vote in support of the bill already passed in the Senate: the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016.

*The Coalition for the Emmett Till Reauthorization Act: The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University School of Law; Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University College of Law; Emmett Till Justice Campaign; Emmett Till Legacy Foundation; Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University; Leadership Council on Civil Rights; Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation; NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense Fund; National Urban League;  and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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