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House makes lynching a federal crime, 65 years after Emmett Till was killed

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

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

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. 

Credit: AP
FILE - This undated portrait shows Emmett Till. The government is still investigating the brutal slaying of the black teenager that helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.

One thing to note is that the bills have to be formally reconciled first before the legislation can be sent to the Oval Office and Trump.

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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Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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.