The case of Emmett Till will last the test of time as a definitive marker of what sparked the necessity of the Civil Rights Movement. President Barack Obama enhanced the slain teen’s legacy by signing into law the Emmett Till Act Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016.
The so-called Emmett Till Act was passed by Congress last week and was awaiting President Obama’s signature. The law will effectively give officials the power to reopen unsolved civil rights cases.
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According to a White House summary, the bill calls on the DOJ and FBI to support the “full accounting of all victims whose deaths or disappearances were the result of racially motivated crimes” and “hold accountable under federal and state law individuals who were perpetrators of, or accomplices in, unsolved civil rights murders and disappearances.”
The bill also requires the federal agencies to meet regularly with civil rights organizations, institutions of higher education, and DOJ-designated entities to coordinate information sharing and discuss the status of DOJ’s Emmett Till Act work.
The act’s powers extend to the federal investigations of the FBI and Justice Department.
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