Civil Rights Division Emmett Till Act (Cold Case Closing Memoranda)

Civil Rights Division Emmett Till Act (Cold Case Closing Memoranda)


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Title Incident Date Overview
James Earl Motley November 20, 1966

On November 20, 1966, at approximately 3:30 a.m., James Motley, the 27-year-old African-American victim, died in the Elmore County jail (the jail) as a result of head injuries.  Earlier that morning, Elmore County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) Deputy Harvey Conner, the subject, had stopped the car in which the victim was a passenger for a traffic violation.  During the course of the traffic stop, the victim told the subject that he did not have jurisdiction because the traffic violation had occurred in a different county.  The subject was reportedly offended by this comment and ordered the victim to exit the vehicle.  The victim complied, whereupon the subject hit the victim in the head several times with a slapjack or similar object. 

Hilliard Brooks August 12, 1950

On August 12, 1950, Montgomery Police Department (MPD) Officer Marvin Mills, the white subject, fatally shot Hilliard Brooks, the 22-year-old African-American victim, in the abdomen on a crowded street in Montgomery, Alabama.  The victim died from his injuries the following day.  According to media reports, the shooting occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m., after the victim created a disturbance on a bus and used foul language in front of female passengers.  The bus driver requested assistance from the subject, who was patrolling nearby as a traffic officer.

Johnnie Robinson September 15, 1963

On September 15, 1963, Johnnie Robinson, the 16-year-old, African-American victim, was fatally shot in the back by Birmingham Police Department (BPD) Officer Jack Parker, the subject.  Earlier that day, the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed, resulting in the death of four African-American girls.  The bombing sparked racial rioting and unrest throughout the city. Police officers claimed that the victim was among a group of African-American  youths who were throwing stones at a car containing several white youths who were flying Confederate flags. When officers arrived at the scene; the African-American  youths began to flee.

Jonathan Myrick Daniels August 20, 1965

On August 20, 1965, Lowndes County Sheriff s Office (LCSO) Special Deputy Thomas Coleman, the subject, fatally shot Jonathan Daniels, the victim. Earlier that day, the 26-year-old victim, a white seminary student, was released from the jail in Hayneville, Alabama where he had been detained following a voting rights demonstration in Fort Deposit, Alabama. The victim was released from the jail along with XXXXXXXXXX, who was a XXXXXXXXXX, and two young African-American women.

Willie Edwards, Jr January 22, 1957

On the evening of January 22, 1957, Willie Edwards, Jr., a 24-year-old African-American father of two and a truck driver for Winn-Dixie in Montgomery, Alabama, disappeared.  On April 23, 1957, fishermen discovered Edwards’ body in the Alabama River ten miles west of Montgomery.  An autopsy was performed and the medical examiner could not determine the cause of death.  A local investigation failed to yield any suspects.  The case remained dormant until 1976, when local investigators questioning XXXXXXXXXXX regarding another crime asked if XXXX knew anything concerning Edwards’s disappearance.  XXXX admitted being present when three men, Henry Alexander, Jimmy York, and Raymond Britt, forced Edwards to jump off the Tyler-Goodwyn bridge to his death.  Britt, York, and Alexander are now deceased but were living at the time of XXXX statement.  After taking XXXX statement, the State of Alabama reopened the investigation.  In January 1976, Alabama Attorney General William J. Baxley signed immunity agreements with Britt and York in exchange for their testimony.

Frank Andrews November 28, 1964

On November 28, 1964, Frank Andrews, a 27 year-old African American man, was shot in the back by XXXXXX, a white Choctaw County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Deputy, outside of Smith’s Café in Lisman, Alabama.  XXXXXXXXXX Deputy William Elmore “Bo” Clark were at the Café investigating the possession and consumption of illegal whisky.  According to a statement given by XXXXX in 1964, XXX shot Andrews in the back as Andrews was being questioned by W. Clark.  XXXXXX claimed that Andrews drew a knife out of his pocket and made aggressive moves toward W. Clark, causing XXXXX to fire XXX weapon.

Andrew Lee Anderson August 5, 1963

On August 5, 1963, Andrew Anderson, the 16-year-old African-American victim, was shot and killed with a high-powered rifle while trying to run from a group of white men and Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies.  At a subsequent coroner’s inquest, the mother of an eight-year-old white girl testified that she witnessed the victim chasing after her daughter, who was hysterical and covered in mud.  According to the mother’s testimony, the daughter got into her mother’s car and told her mother that the victim had sexually assaulted her.

Rodell Williamson May 22, 1967

On May 22, 1967, victim Rodell Williamson’s body was found in the Alabama River, snagged in a fisherman’s trot line and clad only in trousers.  The victim had been missing for approximately two days.  An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was drowning, and there were no signs of trauma to the victim’s body.  The manner of death was classified as “accidental.”

Isadore Banks June 8, 1954

On June 8, 1954, the charred remains of victim Isadore Banks, a 59-year-old
African-American man, were found chained to a tree in a wooded area near Marion, Arkansas.  Media reports at the time detailed the finding of the victim’s remains and the subsequent investigation into his murder.

William Moore

A federal criminal civil rights violation cannot be proven because there is insufficient independent eyewitness corroboration of allegations.  There is no federal jurisdiction because of the expired statute of limitations.


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