Body of Emmett Till to be exhumed
CHICAGO (AP) — Nearly 50 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till's slaying shocked a nation and galvanized the civil rights movement, his body will be exhumed as federal authorities attempt to determine who killed him, the FBI said today.Till's body, buried in a cemetery in the Chicago suburb of Alsip, will be exhumed within the next few weeks so the Cook County Medical Examiner's office can conduct an autopsy, said Deborah Madden, spokeswoman for the FBI's office in Jackson, Miss.
The U.S. Justice Department announced plans last year to reopen the Till investigation, saying it was triggered by several pieces of information including a documentary by New York filmmaker Keith Beauchamp."The exhumation is a logical continuation of that," Madden said. "An autopsy was never performed on the body and the cause of death was never determined."
Bob Dylan will be proud:
"Twas down in Mississippi no so long ago,
When a young boy from Chicago town stepped through a Southern door.
This boy's dreadful tragedy I can still remember well,
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till.
Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason, but I can't remember what.
They tortured him and did some evil things too evil to repeat.
There was screaming sounds inside the barn, there was laughing sounds out on the street.
Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a bloody red rain,
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screaming pain.
The reason that they killed him there, and I'm sure it ain't no lie,
Was just for the fun of killin' him and to watch him slowly die.
And then to stop the United States of yelling for a trial,
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till.
But on the jury there were men who helped the brothers commit this awful crime,
And so this trial was a mockery, but nobody seemed to mind.
I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see,
The smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.
If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men's dirt, your mind is filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains,
and your blood it must refuse to flow,
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!
This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all of us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we could give,
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.
Copyright © 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music