Friday, August 28, 2009
The Tallahatchie County Courthouse, site of the trial of Emmett Till's killers, seen from across the Cassidy Bayou. Photo by Susan Klopfer
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson has officially requested that the U.S. attorney general to investigate an incident in which residents of Sumner conducted a search for a burglary suspect.
The Jackson,Mississippi Clarion Ledger reports --
The suspect, William Pittman, was charged Aug. 20 with breaking and entering a home in Sumner. He was released on bond the same day.
There's no indication Pittman was injured.
The FBI has also said it’s looking into the incident.
"I have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the vigilante type activities that occurred in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, last Thursday," Thompson announced today in a news release.
“Unauthorized people with guns, terrorizing citizens of this area has no place in civilized society.
“The fact that this community still (bears) the stains of racial tensions and is the area that Emmett Till was murdered weighs heavy on the conscience and fears of this community.”
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Well, well. What an interesting time for this to take place -- in the week coming up on the anniversary of young Till's kidnapping and lynching. It hasn't been that long ago, and it's certainly fascinating to search out some names (not yet mentioned as involved by news organizations) in the Sovereignty Commission files. Here's a few Who's Who searches to get started ...
By the way, here's the latest url for the archives digital collections, http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/digital_archives/
If any of this sticks, here are several names that might pop out (relatives of a possible main player)
U.S.Rep. Jamie Whitten
John W. Whitten, Jr.
And a nice picture of John Jr. at the Emmett Till trial --