Congress makes lynching a federal crime, 65 years after Till

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixty-five years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi, Congress has approved legislation designating lynching as a hate crime under federal law.

From left, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, hold a news conference to discuss the "Emmett Till Antilynching Act" which would designate lynching as a hate crime under federal law, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Emmett Till, pictured at right, was a 14-year-old African-American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. (Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The bill, introduced by Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush and named after Till, comes 120 years after Congress first considered anti-lynching legislation.

The House approved the measure, 410-4, on Wednesday. The Senate unanimously passed virtually identical legislation last year.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

Rush, whose Chicago district includes Till’s former home, said the bill belatedly achieves justice for Till and 4,000 other lynching victims, most African Americans.

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