This undated photo shows Emmett Louis Till, a 14-year-old black Chicago teen, who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi. (AP Photo, File)
The Justice Department is continuing its investigation into the killing of Emmett Till, the Black teenager whose slaying 65 years ago in Mississippi sparked outrage and illustrated the brutality of racism in the segregated South.
The department’s latest report on civil rights cold cases, released late last month, lists three investigations dating back decades that were closed because witnesses or suspects have died, leads went nowhere or cases were too old to prosecute, but the Till case wasn’t among them.
Relatives of Till said they didn’t know of anyone in the family who’d received official notification that the review had ended, a key step in the department’s process.
“That’s all we know, that it’s still open,” family member Marvel Parker said July 9. Her husband, Wheeler Parker, was with Till the night he was taken from a family home at gunpoint. The youth’s brutalized body was later pulled from a river, where it had been weighted down with a cotton gin fan.