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Protected against double jeopardy, the two men publicly admitted in a 1956 interview with Look magazine that they had killed Till.In 2004 the case was officially reopened by the United States Department of Justice.
In 2004, Till's body was exhumed and positively identified.Till's body was returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket."The open-coffin funeral held by Mamie Till Bradley exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till's bloated, mutilated body.Her decision focused attention not only on American racism and the barbarism of lynching but also on the limitations and vulnerabilities of American democracy".Tens of thousands attended his funeral or viewed his open casket, and images of his mutilated body were published in black-oriented magazines and newspapers, rallying popular black support and white sympathy across the U. Intense scrutiny was brought to bear on the lack of black civil rights in Mississippi, with newspapers around America critical of the state.Till posthumously became an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.
Till was born and raised in Chicago and in August 1955, was visiting relatives near Money, in the Mississippi Delta region.
In the rural areas, economic opportunities for blacks were almost nonexistent.
They were mostly sharecroppers who lived on land owned by whites.
They took him away and beat and mutilated him before shooting him in the head and sinking his body in the Tallahatchie River.
Three days later, Till's body was discovered and retrieved from the river.
Some writers have suggested that almost every story about Mississippi returns to Till, or the Delta region in which he died, in "some spiritual, homing way." An Emmett Till Memorial Commission was established in the early 21st century.