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Vox Sentences: Emmett Till might get justice in the end

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The Department of Justice seeks some sort of justice for Emmett Till; Israel wants to take further control of the West Bank.

The Department of Justice reopened the investigation into Emmett Till’s murder

The Department of Justice announced that it is reopening its Emmett Till investigation due to “new information.” Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
  • The US Department of Justice has reopened its investigation into the infamous, racially motivated murder of Emmett Till. Till was the black 14-year-old boy brutally beaten, lynched, and killed in 1955. [CNN / Eliott C. McLaughlin]
  • The DOJ told Congress they had received “new information” on the murder that motivated them to inquire once again. The investigation was closed in 2007, years after the deaths of the investigation’s suspects. [AP / Jay Reeves]
  • Emmett Till was abducted and murdered in August of 1955 after Carolyn Bryant Donham, a white woman, accused Till of wolf-whistling at and grabbing her. [USA Today / John Bacon]
  • Her then-husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, were two of six that tortured, lynched, and drowned Till. The two were prosecuted for the murder and acquitted by an all-white jury. They confessed to the murder a year later but could not be tried again. [LA Times / Jenny Jarvie]
  • Till’s mother, Mamie, chose to leave the casket open and the image of Till’s beaten body was seen by tens of thousands thanks to publications that ran the photo. Till’s death and the open casket are widely regarded as having “galvanized the civil rights movement.” [P.R. Lockhart / Vox]
  • The Justice Department didn’t provide a reason for their decision. However, people familiar with the case say the book “The Blood of Emmett Till” was a catalyst. [Washington Post / Kristine Phillips, Wesley Lowery and Devlin Barrett]
  • Bryant Donham told author Timothy Tyson that she had lied under oath about Till’s verbal and physical advances and could not remember the rest of the incident. She is now 83. [Vanity Fair / Sheila Weller]
  • In reaction to the news, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. urged Congress to pass a bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime. [Huffington Post / Nina Golgowski]
  • The reopening of the investigation reflects “how deeply the episode resonates” with Americans to this day. [NYT / Alan Blinder]

Israel’s plan to bulldoze a Bedouin village has been derailed for the time being

  • Israeli forces are planning to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village located in the West Bank. The demolition, which would split the West Bank in two, and the village are now at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Washington Post / Loveday Morris and Sufian Taha]
  • Israel’s High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction blocking the state from bulldozing over the community until the court hears a petition filed by Palestinian lawyers. The hearing must be held by August 15. This decision effectively delayed the demolition for a month. [The Times of Israel / Jacob Magid]
  • In the days leading up to the intended demolition, protesters clashed with police forces. Thirty-five were injured and four were sent to the hospital. [Reuters / Ali Sawafta]
  • The eviction is suspected to be a part of a campaign to occupy more and more Palestinian territory. The demolition and resulting space would connect two Israeli settlements in the West Bank. [Al Jazeera / Mariam Barghouti]
  • The eviction of Bedouin villagers is 40 years in the making. [Haaretz / Amira Hass]


  • A new study found that — despite the company’s claims — the presence of Airbnb only benefits white neighborhoods. [The Verge / Shoshana Wodinsky]
  • The 2018 Emmy nominations have been announced. Among the nominees are Game of Thrones, Queer Eye and Saturday Night Live. [Buzzfeed / David Mack]
  • In an argument with the inimitable Piers Morgan, a young activist got him to shut up with this little ditty: “[Obama]’s not my hero! I’m a communist you idiot.” Of course, he only quieted down for a moment. It’s Piers Morgan, after all. [YouTube / Novara Media]
  • In yet another instance of racial profiling, an anonymous (likely white) caller requested the police take action against a young boy delivering newspapers on a paper route in his neighborhood. [ABC 6 / Haley Nelson]


“Americans are better off now.” [Washington Examiner / Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) on life in the Trump era]

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