Newly Launched ‘Emmett Till Alerts’ Notify Black Leaders Of Racist Incidents, Hate Crimes
A new alert system launched Monday (Aug. 22) in Maryland notifies Black leaders about racist incidents and hate crimes.
CBS News reports that the Emmett Till Alert, named in honor of the 14-year-old Black child lynched in 1955 in Mississippi, is modeled on the Amber Alert system. There are three alert levels, with the highest level signaling a great likelihood of violence or death.
Carl Snowden of the Caucus of African American Leaders told CBS News that 167 Black elected state officials, national civil right organizations, clergy and others will receive the alerts.
"When the FBI director said often that the greatest domestic terrorism threat is white supremacists, we should take that very, very seriously," Snowden stated.
The alert system launched as a Maryland community was rattled by a series of racist graffiti, that included the n-word, found on the doors of the Kingdom Celebration Center church in Anne Arundel County.
On Aug. 5, the police arrested a suspect identified as Donald Eugene Hood Jr. ,66, who has no fixed address, the Capital Gazette reported. Church officials contacted the police when their doorbell camera captured footage of Hood allegedly writing a racist phrase on the back door. He faces three hate crime charges, as well as a fourth charge of malicious destruction of property.
"The Emmett Till Alert system is a step in the right direction for our community to govern itself and to heal itself," Apostle Antonio Palmer told CBS News. "We've come to the conclusion that Anne Arundel County is in no way exempt from this country's tolerance of hate crimes against the African American community."
Daryl Jones of the Transformative Justice Coalition told CBS News that the Emmett Till Alert system can serve Black communities nationwide. "This is a model system for all of America," he stated.
The warning system went live more than six months after the FBI announced that a Joint Terrorism Task Forces started investigating racially motivated bomb threats at multiple Historically Black Colleges and Universities nationwide.
Since then, the FBI has not announced any arrests or identified suspects. HBCU leaders, who say the domestic terrorism threats disrupted campuses and created a sense of fear, want to see results.
“I’m beyond frustrated,” Carmen Walters, president of Tougaloo College in Mississippi, told a group of HBCU presidents earlier in August, according to Politico. “I’m very angry that no one has been brought to justice, but there’s been no conversation about the investigation at all.”