CCJI and NAACP Draft Civil Rights Crime Resolution
On July 16, during its annual national convention in Orlando, the NAACP voted and passed a resolution that the Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) at Syracuse University played a substantial role in drafting. The resolution calls on President Barack Obama to take leadership in demanding that the full effect of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Act be implemented.
The Georgia NAACP chapter submitted the resolution, which was approved by the resolution committee of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization prior to the convention.
“The 2008 Act required the Justice Department and the FBI to ‘expeditiously investigate’ and ‘provide all the resources necessary to ensure timely and thorough investigations’ of unsolved civil rights murders,” explains Professor Janis McDonald, co-director of the CCJI. “They have shown no sense of urgency, reflecting the intent of Congress in passing this law, however.”
“We are honored to work with the NAACP on this important resolution,” says CCJI co-director and Professor Paula Johnson. “This highly regarded institution has always held as an objective to seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state and local laws securing civil rights. These families’ voices are duty-bound to be heard and they deserve the justice that a true, full accounting would provide.”
This summer the CCJI has deployed law students to five southern states: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. Known as the Five Cities Project, the effort is to begin to take a full accounting of racially motivated killings that may have occurred between 1955 and 1980. This comes on the heels of the CCJI identifying and turning over 196 names of potential victims of civil rights era killings to the Department of Justice.