Katie Baker
For Immediate Release

Gansler-Hollingsworth Commend Passage of Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. – Former Attorney General Doug Gansler and former Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth today commended the passage of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, which would make lynching a hate crime under federal law.

“The bar for proving hate crimes is too high for prosecutors, and I’m glad that Congress has finally voted to declare lynching a federal hate crime after failing to do so over 200 times,” said Gansler. “There are more hate crimes reported against Black Americans than any other group, and this legislation sends the message that they deserve both safety and justice.”

“Just yesterday in Northern Virginia, a noose was found on a school banner outside a Loudoun County high school,” said Hollingsworth. “We are lying to ourselves if we think that such an atrocity could not happen in our neighborhoods and to our children. Emmett Till truly was the sacrificial lamb of the Civil Rights Movement, and incidents like the one yesterday are sobering reminders of why the work of people like Ida B. Wells is so important and integral to our history and to maintaining our commitment to justice. I commend Congress for taking this long overdue action to advance safety and justice for Black people in this country.”

As Montgomery County State’s Attorney, Gansler called a grand jury to investigate the 1986 death of Keith Warren, a young Black man who was found hanging from a tree in Silver Spring. The case was quickly declared a suicide, but the grand jury found that the cause of death was inconclusive. Gansler was recently interviewed about the case in the third episode of the new Discovery+ docuseries Uprooted and by Bethesda Beat. Gansler has called for the Maryland State Medical Examiner to change Warren’s death certificate from suicide to undetermined.

 

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