Justice for Emmett Louis Till

A new film could bring justice to the case of Emmett Louis Till, "a 14-year-old black Chicagoan who was kidnapped, mutilated and brutally murdered while visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955."

Two men who admitted abducting the boy were acquitted of his murder. Despite riots over the incident, no one was ever held accountable. Now, due to a new documentary by 31-year-old Keith Beauchamp, the case could be reopened.

There will be a private screening of the film, "The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till," on Nov. 16 at the New York University Cantor Film Center. An expert panel will discuss the case following the viewing.

Beauchamp grew up in Lousiana and when he was 10 or 11, he found a picture of the mutilated body of Emmett Till. He has been obsessed with the case ever since, spending the last six years filming and tracking down witnesses.

The trial took place in Tallahatchie County which at that time only had all white juries even though the population was two-thirds black.

"In the minds of many Mississippians in 1955, a black man could justifiably be lynched even for looking at a white woman. Emmett was tortured and killed for allegedly "wolf whistling" at Mr. Bryant's wife, Carolyn, a storekeeper in Money, Miss. One of the tragedies of this case is that the so-called "wolf whistle" was probably a misunderstanding. Emmett had a speech impediment. When he got stuck on a word, he would stop speaking and abruptly whistle, as a way of untangling his tongue."

"Over the last several decades, Hollywood has turned away even famous producers who wanted to bring this story to film. As an unknown, working quietly on his own, Mr. Beauchamp has succeeded where others have failed, casting new light on a crime that many thought would remain forever unpunished. The information in this film could conceivably change that, allowing law enforcement officials to achieve justice at last for Emmett Louis Till. "

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