Thursday, December 17, 2015
Cold case justice: Inside the hunt for civil rights era killers
...The urgency of their work, which they called the Cold Case Justice Initiative, has grown more acute as witnesses, relatives and suspects grow old and die, and as the church massacre in Charleston drew grim parallels to the worst atrocities committed decades ago by the Ku Klux Klan. In their telling, the police killings in Ferguson, North Charleston, Chicago and beyond have laid bare not only a continuum of violence that African-Americans have faced for generations, but a culture of impunity that has made justice so elusive. “It’s not like there’s some part of our history where these cases stop,” Johnson told me. This view has turned the professors into activists trying to force the government to reckon with this legacy of racial killings. And no one could do more, they say, than the authorities charged with enforcing the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.