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Wicker, Cochran Support Efforts to Renew Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., are supporting a proposal to reauthorize the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Act, a 2008 law that is set to expire next year.

The Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016, S.2854, would renew the law that authorized collaboration between the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state and local law enforcement to investigate unsolved civil rights-era violence.

“This important law has helped deliver justice for victims and families who suffered terrible crimes during that bitter, painful period of our nation’s history,” Wicker said. “However, many of these cases still remain unsolved, leaving families without answers. I am hopeful that the Senate will give the law new life to keep these critical investigations ongoing.”

“It is important that special emphasis be placed on reconciling the tragedies of the civil rights movement. The evidence and witnesses to these crimes become scarcer as time goes by, and we must act now,” Cochran said. “Reauthorizing the Emmett Till law would allow federal, state and local investigators to continue pursuing these cold cases.”

In addition to reauthorizing the 2008 law, S.2854 contains important updates, including promoting greater collaboration with civil rights organizations, universities, and other entities that engaged in this work and allowing such organizations to apply for grants. Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

Cochran and Wicker supported enactment of the original 2008 law, which is named for the African-American teenager who was brutally murdered in 1955 while visiting relatives in Mississippi.


Posted May 24, 2016 - 9:52 am

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