Civil rights leader sounds off about the plan to exhume the body of Emmett Till - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Civil rights leader sounds off about the plan to exhume the body of Emmett Till

One local civil rights leader is sounding off about the FBI's plan to exhume the body of Emmett Till. Till was murdered nearly 50 years ago reportedly for whistling at a white woman. Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles was close to many of the major civil rights events that shaped our nation. He spoke with Action News 5 about the importance of solving the Emmett Till murder case. "It's necessary because history needs to be accurate." Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles was part of the efforts to get the Emmett Till case reopened for nearly 50 years. "Truth crushed to earth will rise again. And it's never too late for justice. It really isn't." Investigators say the autopsy would answer questions that have lingered since that fateful day. "We don't know whether the bullet killed him, autopsy will reveal that. Or if the bullet is still in his body, we don't know that." The two men originally acquitted by an all-white jury, later confessed to killing Till. But, Kyle and others believe there were others involved who have escaped justice. "If there are others involved, then they should be brought to justice." Kyles says the good faith effort to find the truth is not enough, and a court decision of some sort is important. "That carries a lot of weight, but it does matter what the decision is. It gives it a credibility it has not had." Kyles says that credibility is important to the African-American community, even today. "It's part of the history of a people who were brought here as slaves. We are the end product of that history." The statute of limitations has passed on federal charges, so anyone found to be involved and alive could only face possible state charges. No date for the exhumation has been set.
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