Latifah Muhammad

Unequal Justice: The Murder Of Emmett Till [Photos]


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Till’s mother  Mamie Till Mobley (pictured above) recalled seeing his dead body for the first time. His his tongue was cut and shoved back into his mouth, his genitals were cut off, his eye was missing, his teeth were knocked out, he was shot in the head, his skull was sliced with an axe, and his body was thrown into a river.

The teenager’s murder, and the subsequent acquittal of his killers, helped to launch the Civil Right Movement, due in part to Mobley’s tenacity. She refused to let his death be brushed under the rug and was once quoted as saying, “If it will further the cause of freedom, then I will say that he died a hero.”

Almost 60 years later, his remains a tragic yet pivotal story in the Civil Rights Movement, and the fight for equal rights.

See photos in the gallery.

Photos: YouTube

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Comment Comments: 67 Tags Tags: emmett till

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  • Starrr

    JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, I almost can’t believe that this horrific event actually happened, but I know better. It REALLY happened! This beautiful, beautiful, beautiful young 14 yr
    old black boy was tortured and murdered for (ALLEGEDLY) whistling at a white woman.

    Just like the person in the article, I recall being sick at being forced to see his ending. Although my mind longs for and hurts for this kid who died a horrible death, many many years before I was born I say to his mother, “I love AND respect you.”

    The mother of Enmity Til deserves sooo much. She demanded a movement, and she didn’t settle until she got it. Enmity Til did NOT suffer the death he suffered for us, in vain. His death was probably the most pivotal moment during the civil rights movement. No matter how great his legacy though, I wish he was here with us.

    • Another of your ugly tricks –

      The tragedy is the US nation born out of this racial violence has gone on in the post-war years to carry it well beyond it’s own borders into the wider world – it is not for nothing it has become known as the Great Satan: this lesson was never learnt and probably never will be while the US remains the only super-power.

      • Rex Savage

        Moronic ramblings, meanwhile Islam is selling little kidnapped girls and severing the heads of men and women trying to help children. Who’s the great Satan?

      • Rintintin

        What laughable rubbish. In Mexico drug gangs torture and behead thousands, Russia invades Chechnya and brutalises the population, China executes more than any other country, Islamists terrorise and behead (when they’re not suicide bombing market places) and people like you blame the US for this? There is no Great Satan….only in your tiny head….but thank your God that the greatest super power is a liberal secular democracy and not some fascistic regime that so many want to see it replaced with.

    • grevyturty

      Till deserved to die. He was extremely ugly and a troublemaker. Stop supporting that dead criminal.

      • “TheDixieDrifter”

        Mind your business troll .

      • Davido

        May be, Emmit deceived to be born and live on better than vermin cockroaches like you. Common.

      • robert d

        You need professional help. Sick.

      • plum82

        how the hell would you know?

      • Lib+Repub=0

        Racist idiot.

      • Rintintin

        I spy troll!

    • plum82

      i agree………unbelievable, unforgivable………

      • Starrr

        Poignant and PERFECT words…….

        “unbelievable, unforgettable……”

        Beautiful and accurate………

      • plum82

        mans inhumanity to man……….nice looking boy, no doubt just admiring a nice looking woman…pitiful

  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    I remember being 7 years old and learning about Emmett Till from the movie Eyes on the Prize… at that age i didnt understand but but Till’s open casket is forever in my mind. Its crazy how in 2014 we still deal with such tragedies that mirror Till’s murder.

    • Starrr

      Credit his mother for his life and his open casket. They tried to tell her to close it and to hide the horror that happened, but she NEVER got weak.

      • Wombat

        The world saw it too and began trashing the US about killing its children.

    • MarilynMinaj

      U are so right momma dee thats what i was sayin like how all these years later we still goin thru the same thing that’s why i respect Ferguson because if we dont riot and protest it a keep bein swept under the rug its not just justice for Mike Brown but for all our lost black ppl and the ones we have not lost and we can save

      • kerry

        if you riot your doing what the gov want you to do, so they can say see look at them, dont know how to change the crap in your country but riotings not the answer, the usa is a virtual dictatorship anyway the men in power wont listen, whole founding is based on a lie, land of the free(unless your a native american,black or female), should of kept the queen she gave my country a thing called human rights

      • sharon brown

        By rioting you are destroying some Blacks have built up and losing jobs. What is on your mind? Send you to Iraq since you like to destroy.

      • treborc1

        So OK what do people do when people are murdered, we tend to march we do not riot the rioting starts once the Government send in the police. Marching is a way in which those without a voice can show the world we are here we are human treat us as such, but most riots tend to be just marches that end up with a line of police armed to the teeth stopping people.

        The rich in my country can use the courts these days, the poor cannot.

      • smith

        It appears the riots only started after certain elements, including people from other cities across the country, decided to take advantage of the discontent and break into businesses, throw rocks and bottle at police officers and break the law. Without the breaking of laws, no one would have been arrested.

      • plum82

        thanx to the likes of sharpton & jackson, rabble rousers ~~~~

      • lewis jones


      • plum82

        right on sharon ~~~~~~

  • dielaffn

    This image will forever be burned into my memory. I made sure to show it to my girls and told them the reason why it happened. Seems as though nothing has changed. Same shitt.. different day.

  • shea

    Please do not compare Emmitt Till’s death to Ferguson. Emmit Till was an innocent, intelligent child, not a thug. I knew someone was going to make a comparison.

    • Sade Bubblez Hodges

      it’s not the victims’ character they are comparing but the wrongfulness of their deaths they are comparing. How do you know Mike Brown was a “thug”? The fact that he pose no threat, had no weapon, and his hands were up in the air to signify his surrender was enough to say this “man” killed Mike Brown in cold blood. The sad part is you can’t even see the truth. How frequently this is happening to young black men. Being shot and killed because they are black. Nothing has changed in this world. America looks like a sideshow to the rest of the world. SMH…

      • Alana Smith

        WOW he was stealing?, but gee that makes him an angel and the police officer who was so used to these men being armed a bad cop – wrong person wrong place but that police officer didn’t arm those men or make them steal or make the neighborhood the way it is, it was simply Mike Brown didn’t have a weapon on him at the time but with circumstances that their was a 99% chance he did have because of the crime in the area and the types that carried that made that police officer the wrong man in the wrong place while a theft was taking place

      • smith

        “that police officer didn’t arm those men”

        Those men weren’t armed, it was considered what they call a “strong arm robbery”. They took a box of cigars and pushed the store clerk when he objected. The box of cigars was the equivalent of petty theft (less than $100).

        Right from the start the authorities said the officer who shot Brown did NOT know he was involved in the store robbery. He was being detained for jaywalking. He had to have already been searched for weapons because they said he was already in the police cruiser when he decided to resist and flee. The bottom line is, the arresting police officer had no indication he was involved in anything else but jay walking, the arresting police officer had to have searched him for weapons prior to putting him in the cruiser, thus not having any suspicion that the suspect was armed, when the suspect got out and started to run, the police officer shot him, hitting him in the arm. The suspect turned around and put his hands in the air indicating his surrender. The police officer shot him several more times, killing him, without any threat from the suspect. The robbery by the suspect moments earlier has nothing to do with the officer shooting him. Although it might have something to do with why the suspect started to flee. The rules set by the Supreme Court of the United States says that anyone fleeing and not posing a risk of danger to the officer or the public cannot be fired upon. The only time officers can fire their weapons is when there is imminent danger to themselves or others and the suspect has given reasonable evidence that they will carry out that threat. It was decided in the courts long ago that fleeing subjects posing no threat or risk of harm to others cannot be fired upon by law enforcement officers.

        “the types that carried”

        Seriously? The types that carried? The town is almost all black people, the police force is almost all white people. Tell us, what exactly in that scenario constitutes a “type that carries”? You’re projecting your own biased, possibly prejudiced, concept of what you think is the “type that carries”. You can’t smell the truth because your nose is too far up in the air. From all the information coming out, including the video at the store, it’s possible he wasn’t the angel his family and friends would like to make him out to be but the bottom line is, he was arrested by an officer for jay walking, he tried to escape and was shot to death – for jaywalking while being black.

        I’m a WASP and even I can’t see the justice in that.

      • robert d

        No matter how you try to justify that young man’s murder the world knows the life of a young black man in America is considered worthless by large numbers of white christian folk.

      • igor12

        The part where he was strong arming the store owner was the deciding factor that is was a thug. You deny that he was robbing the guy?

      • smith

        Regardless of whether he stole a box of cigars and pushed the store clerk (Strong arm robbery is an exaggerated term for pushing someone) and regardless of his prior run ins with authorities as a minor, some people might categorize him as a thug but the bottom line is, the officer was arresting him for jaywalking, not the robbery, of which the officer had no knowledge. He was shot because he was jaywalking while black. OK, so he tried to escape, yet he posed no threat of imminent danger to the officer or the public, does that give the officer enough reason to shoot him? If it had happened to me, a middle ages white guy, there would not have been any outrage, the public would have just been wondering what went wrong. It’s understandable that black people are outraged at the killing of a black man who posed no threat. The bad thing is when they take it past the stage of peaceful protest. Criminal elements love it when they can find an excuse to do whatever they want to do. If we don’t find a solution to the injustice America will end up like Iraq with minorities (Sunni Muslims) being kept from participating in the decision making processes, resulting in extreme behavior similar to Islamic State in the Levant.

      • robert d

        They used hang children for stealing bread. Sometimes I think, over the past 500 years we have made progress – obviously not.

      • ugottabe kidding me

        mike brown was a thug because there are pictures on the net showing him throwing gang signs, and posing with other black youths holding an AK-47 style assault weapon..and don’t forget michael brown “the gentle giant” destroyed the orbital bone around the eye of the police officer, so try as you might he was no angel he was no gentle giant, he was a thug in training..and oh don’t forget about the strong armed robbery he committed against the store owner…one does not have to have a weapon to committ a strong armed robbery

      • “TheDixieDrifter”

        thugs have criminal records ,Mike Brown did not have one . Mike was was just a normal teenager . I guess you were never one .

      • ugottabe kidding me

        if he doesn’t have a criminal record then why not release his juvie record?? with him being no longer among the living there is no such thing a privacy rights..and oh by the way i was a normal teenager, i happen to be one with a healthy respect for the law and i did not assault store owner (who are doing nothing more than trying to make a honest living) to STEAL, whether its a 10cent piece of candy or a $50 box of cigars, stealing is stealing..well i guess you will make the cause that he grew up in a single parent home and being black its “whitey’s fault and blame it on slavery” so he’s entitled to take the box of cigars as partial reparations for the past sins of the white man

      • plum82

        He was, if not a thug, a bully ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      • “TheDixieDrifter”

        You don’t know what transpired in that store between the clerk and MB . Just yesterday I purchased an item a local convenience store , they put my cigs and a pack of cig papers into a small bag which they never do, I did not think to inspect the products in the bag until I got home . when I got home I gave the bag to my wife she took her cigs and gave me the pack of papers as soon as I touch the pack of papers I noticed it was empty . I drove 3 miles to get my papers and the clerk accused me of being thief thank god I got my papers without the Police being called . but I know they sell lose cig so now I will tell the authorities about this .

      • ugottabe kidding me

        its all on tape, showing the “gentle giant” physically assaulting the store clerk you need to google the tape and see for yourself, he stole a box of cigars then threatened and assaulted the store owner

      • “TheDixieDrifter”

        If he stole something from this store then why didn’t the store clerk call the Police ?. Cameras don’t always tell the whole story.

      • ugottabe kidding me

        please step away from the kool aid, the camera shows something more important than the theft of cigars…IT SHOWS A PHYSICAL ASSAULT TAKING PLACE!!!!! which in the legal arena carries more time than stealing a box of cigars…it is truly a shame you choose to hang on to such minor details in an attempt to defend the actions of another welfare thug, oh and by the way now his welfare broodmare project mammy is in jail for assault and felony theft that happened approx 1 week ago, so i guess she stole the money because her welfare ran out and she is no longer getting a SSI check for the gentle giant

      • “TheDixieDrifter”

        I really don’t care what he did , however it does not justify murdering him . You need to step away. this is suppose to be America and justice for all .

      • “TheDixieDrifter”

        you cuff and arrest not shot to kill an unarmed person .

      • plum82

        NORMAL ? i think not, maybe where you come from BUT not where i come from…….

      • plum82

        HE was a THUG and a THIEF ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • Edwin

      How about u do us all a favor and STFU! exactly in ur own words what’s a Thug to u. I try to not bother myself with utter nonsense but I’m pissed. A comparison is real as well as the cause of the world to c how a little place like Ferguson can strike another movement. There r critical issues going on and u can either be with it or against it ur choice.

      • smith

        You say “a little place like Ferguson” it may be a small city by most standards but it is a suburb of a much larger city and is an integral part of a very large metropolis. But you’re right, issues need to be addressed before they become critical, however, being “with it or against it” is something that should be reconsidered. People shouldn’t be concerned with being “with” a certain issue or “against” it, they should be concerned with treating everyone with respect regardless of race, religion or cultural background. When everyone respects all others that is when there will be harmony.

    • Alana Smith

      Thank you Shea for having the backbone to point out the difference – it seems some people use any kind of happening to justify their means

    • ugottabe kidding me

      i agree with you 1000% these are two entirely different individuals and to compare the “gentle giant” to emmitt till does a disservice to him (till), his mother, and the entire civil rights movement

  • Don’t Swirl

    Every negro who sleeps with white women should hang a pic of his open casket on their bedroom wall, negroes are still dying for the swirl.

  • KTL

    I was going to say this injustice could never happen in today’s america.But guess what it is still happening.It has happened just recently.BLACK PEOPLE stop laying down like helpless sheep,your ancestors did not sacrifice their lives for these things to be happening in 2014.

  • Lindy-Lou

    Race aside – he should not have wolf whistled at the woman. It was objectifying and disrespectful.
    However, in a racially equal society. The woman would have had a word with Emmett’s Mum, next time she saw her, and Emmett would get a bit of a telling off from his Mum.

    THIS is so far away from that scenario, that it almost denies belief that it happened at all. Absolutely incredible. I believe the crime was only compounded in 1956, when having had a confession the District Attorney could have found some minor charge at the very least for these evil men, that had not been included in the original charges – even if it was just something like trespass, abandoning a body, lying under oath, anything at all. Had they really wanted to!

    • smith

      What makes you think he even whistled at the woman? It may not have even been him who whistled. There may not have been any whistle at all, just an accusation for white men to take out their frustrations on a black child, one who wasn’t able to defend himself as a man. Lynching parties used to take place just because a black man supposedly LOOKED at a white woman walking down the street. If you didn’t know, a black man was not allowed to raise his head in the presence of a white woman.

  • WritingBoy

    Why are ppl surprised? That’s to be expected by self-righteous, red-necked, toxic hubris, ‘religious’ boofheads.

  • sharon brown

    Moms did the right thing. She let the world know what had happened to her child and how they tried to cover it up. KUOS!!!!!!!

    • plum82

      I agree !

  • grevyturty

    NO ONE mentions that this idiot deserved what happened to him. He was a troublemaker and didn’t deserve to live.

    • Davido

      Is that how civilized societies treat troublemakers. Judge for yourself what that makes you, common.

  • lewis jones

    and let the whining begin……btw, he DID die in vain dumbass. you people need to leave the past where it is or just leave. we can bring up things too. be careful……

  • Davido

    It is amazing how America condemns such barbarism elsewhere today. Anyway, I don’t expect anything better from human beings, black or white. It is a sad world, always has.

  • robert d

    Disgusting. And even more so when even after the confession the mudering scum got away with it.

  • Larry Gelnats

    Sad tale.
    Lots of them out there.
    Why wallow in this bit of ancient history?

    This year 6000 blacks will be murdered in the USA, 94% of the murderers will be black.
    94%? Quite the statistic. Is that a victory AGAINST racism?

  • Moe

    This was an injustice a true act of murder, problem is it happened in 1955 not yesterday. To continue to run these horror stories of ignorant whites inflames people of color for deeds not committed by today’s majority. There are good and bad amongst all groups. If someone was sick enough to run stories of whites murdered by African Americans daily like those against whites, that would rightfully be called racism, this new venture to fuel the evil wrongs of the past and feed racism of bad people in all groups, is really bad. No defense to what happened to this innocent child. Yet be careful not to divide a people with more wrongful hate.

    • plum82

      I think it would be just a tad more of importance to worry about ISIS, ISLAM and all their ilk that are trying to kill us instead of rehashing what happened in the past ~~~~~~~~~~~

  • plum82

    NO DOUBT ~~~~~~~~~~~

  • DIEversity Kills

    Emmett Till was just like his father who had to be executed by the US Army for raping and killing White women.