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Maryland Emmett Till Cold Case Investigations Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $299,988)

The Emmett Till Program provides support to state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors in their investigation and prosecution of cold case murders associated with civil rights violations. Funds are limited to address violations of civil rights statutes resulting in death that occurred no later than December 31, 1979.

The objectives of the program are to enhance collaboration between federal, state and local law-enforcement and prosecution agencies in their investigations and prosecution of unsolved civil rights cold case murders; to increase the number of state, local and tribal investigations and prosecutions of civil rights cold case murders; and to bring justice and support to families and stakeholders impacted by these murders.

The Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission (MLTRC) is the first of its kind in the United States, and as such, holds the potential to serve as a model for communities across the country that continue to bear the weight of the brutal history of racial terror lynching. The commission has been tasked with expanding the documentation and public understanding of the more than 40 known cases of racial terror lynching in Maryland through archival and community-based research, including public hearings in communities where these lynchings have been documented to have occurred. The MLTRC has defined lynching as the unlawful killing of an African American by white mob violence, often with the apparent complicity of state and local officials, intended to incite racial terror and subservience to white supremacy. Thus, by definition, these cases constitute violations of federal civil rights statutes. MOAG will partner with the MLTRC and its member organizations, including the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project and the John Mitchell, Jr. Program for History, Justice, and Race at George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, to fund the investigation of over 40 unsolved, racially-motivated lynchings that were committed in the state of Maryland. MOAG will also support dialogue and reconciliation with family members and communities impacted by these crimes.


Date Created: October 22, 2020