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article imageFBI continues to probe civil rights era racial murders

By Salim Jiwa     Nov 19, 2009 in Crime
They were racially motivated civil rights era murders. All are cold cases. The FBI says it is determined to bring justice for these racist deaths, some involving white police officers. The FBI is looking for help in tracking families of 33 murder victims.
WASHINGTON - The FBI is asking for help in locating the next of kin of 33 civil rights era murder victims to see if they can find information that will lead to prosecutable evidence.
"Nearly three years after the launch of the Civil Rights-Era Cold Case Initiative, the FBI is publicly releasing updated information demonstrating the progress made so far, and requesting public assistance with a new challenge: locating victims’ next of kin in 33 cases," the FBI announced on Wednesday.
"Since the investigative phase of the Civil Rights-Era Cold Case Initiative was launched in February 2007, a total of 108 unsolved or inadequately solved racially-motivated homicides have been forwarded to 17 field offices for a fresh assessment of legal and investigative viability," it said.
"The results from the FBI investigations are then sent to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which decides whether the cases can be prosecuted federally, referred for state prosecution, or closed," the bureau announced as it continues to look at numerous cases from southern United States.
"The FBI intends to notify the victims’ families of the results of the investigations. Unfortunately, however, due to the passage of time and the migration of many families, the FBI has been unable to identify the victims’ next of kin in 33 cases," it said.
A list of names and circumstances of these cases is being released in hopes that the public may be able to provide information that can assist the FBI in locating surviving family members, the FBI said.
There have been two successful federal prosecutions so far. Ernest Avery Avants was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Benjamin Charles White. James Ford Seale was sentenced to three life terms for the murders of Charles Moore and Henry Dee.
"Additionally, three cold case investigations have been referred for state prosecution, including one involving former Alabama State Trooper James Bonard Fowler, who is being tried for the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson in Marion, Alabama," said a statement.
FBI has concluded that in 47 percent of the investigated cases, all subjects identified as being involved in the homicides are deceased. Approximately 19 percent of the deaths were determined not to be racially-motivated homicides. To date, DOJ has declined prosecution and closed five cases, with 21 more cases expected to be closed following notification of next of kin.
Many of the 108 cases remain under investigation. The FBI is offering rewards for arrests, indictment and conviction of anyone responsible for a racist murder dating back to the civil rights era. All of the murders cry out for justice, being solely carried out for the race of the victim.
Some of the murders involve white police officers.
The complete FBI list in which the bureau is looking for help is below:
Atlanta Division:
A.C. Hall: A.C. Hall was shot and killed on October 11, 1962, in Macon, Georgia, after being identified by a Caucasian woman as the man who stole a pistol from her car. The woman observed a person breaking into her car and the police responded. The officers drove her and her husband through the neighborhood to find the perpetrator. The couple identified Hall as the person who may be responsible and after a foot chase he was shot and killed by the officers.
Arthur James Hill: Arthur James Hill was allegedly shot and killed on August 20, 1965, by an individual during an altercation with a group of Caucasian men in Villa Rica, Georgia. One of the men who shot Hill stated that Hill was pulling out a shotgun when Hill was shot.
Ernest Hunter: Ernest Hunter was arrested in Savannah, Georgia, on September 13, 1958. Later that day, he was shot and killed by a police officer following an alleged struggle inside the holding cell at the police station. Hunter was arrested after he interfered with the officer's attempts to give Hunter's wife a traffic citation.
Maybelle Mahone: On December 5, 1956, a Caucasian male shot and killed Maybelle Mahone in her home in Molena, Georgia.
Clarence Horatious Pickett: Clarence Horatious Pickett was beaten by a police officer on December 21, 1957, in Columbus, Georgia, while Pickett was in jail. Pickett died as a result of his injuries on December 23, 1957.
Birmingham Division:
Nathan Johnson: On May 8, 1966, two police officers in Alabaster, Alabama, stopped Nathan Johnson for driving under the influence of alcohol. Johnson was transported to the station where he allegedly struggled with one of the officers and was shot and killed.
William Lewis Moore: On April 23, 1963, William Moore was shot and killed by an individual near Attalla, Alabama. Moore, a postal worker from Baltimore, Maryland, and a former Marine had begun a solo march from Chattanooga, Tennessee, en route to Jackson, Mississippi, to deliver a letter to the governor urging the integration of the University of Mississippi.
Johnny Robinson: Johnny Robinson was a 16-year-old African-American who was shot and killed by a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 15, 1963, during the aftermath of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
Columbia Division:
James Waymers: On July 10, 1965, James Waymers was killed in Allendale, South Carolina, after an argument with an individual regarding Waymers' efforts to string electrical wires into the home of an African American.
Dallas Division:
John Earl Reese: On October 22, 1955, John Earl Reese, a 16-year-old African-American male was shot and killed along with two other African-American females by two men who fired several rounds into a predominantly African-American café in Gregg County, Texas.
Jacksonville Division:
Joseph Hill Dumas: On May 5, 1962, Joseph Dumas was killed in Perry, Florida, by a law enforcement officer who may have shot him accidentally during a traffic stop. Dumas and his family were detained during the stop in Taylor County, Florida.
Jackson Division:
Eli Brumfield: Eli Brumfield was stopped for speeding in McComb, Mississippi, on October 13, 1961. When Brumfield allegedly jumped from his car with knife, he was shot and killed by the police officer.
Silas Ernest Caston: Silas Ernest Caston was shot and killed by a law enforcement officer in Hinds County, Mississippi, on March 1, 1964.
Jimmie Lee Griffin: Jimmie Lee Griffin's body was discovered on a local highway near Sturgis, Mississippi, on September 24, 1965.
Ernest Jells: Ernest Jells was shot to death on October 20, 1963, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, by a police officer after Jells allegedly pointed a rifle at officers who were attempting to arrest him for stealing a banana from a local grocery store.
William Henry Lee, aka, John Patrick Lee: Lee's body was discovered near railroad tracks in Rankin County, Mississippi, on February 25, 1965. Lee may have walked away from his disabled vehicle to seek assistance.
George Love: George Love was shot and killed near Ruleville, Mississippi, on January 8, 1958, by police officers after Love allegedly shot and seriously wounded a Ruleville night marshal who sought to question Love about a robbery.
Neimiah Montgomery: Neimiah Montgomery stopped at a gas station on August 10, 1964, in Cleveland, Mississippi, and asked the attendant to put gas in his car. Montgomery allegedly refused to pay for the gas and attacked the attendant. A police officer shot and killed Montgomery when he arrived on the scene.
Jessie James Shelby: Jessie Shelby was shot and killed by a police officer in Yazoo City, Mississippi, on January 21, 1956.
Ollie Shelby: Ollie Shelby was shot and killed on January 22, 1965, while he was incarcerated in the Hinds County Jail in Mississippi.
Ed Smith: Ed Smith was allegedly shot and killed on April 27, 1958, in State Line, Mississippi.
Isaiah Taylor: Isaiah Taylor was shot and killed on June 26, 1964 in Ruleville, Mississippi, by a police officer following a traffic stop.
Mobile Division:
Hiliard Brooks: On August 13, 1952, Hiliard Brooks was shot and killed by a police officer over a dispute regarding whether or not Brooks paid his bus fare.
Rogers Hamilton: On October 22, 1957, one or two men came to Rogers Hamilton's home in Lowndes County, Alabama, and took him out of his house. Hamilton got into the truck with the men. His mother found Hamilton's body in the road. He had been shot and killed.
Bessie McDowell: Two men went to Bessie McDowell's home in Andalusia, Alabama, in 1956 to collect a debt from an individual who resided with McDowell. When the individual fled, the men shot into the house and accidentally struck McDowell killing her.
James Earl Motley: On November 20, 1966, James Motley was detained by a police officer in Elmore County, Alabama, during a traffic stop. After an alleged altercation with responding officers, he was transported to the police station. He was later found dead in the holding cell.
Archie Wooden: Archie Wooden was sixteen years old when he allegedly cut his leg on the branch of a tree and bled to death in 1967 in Camden, Alabama.
New Orleans Division:
Izell Henry: Two individuals claimed that they found Izell Henry in a roadside ditch about a mile from his home in Greensburg, Louisiana, on July 28, 1954. They transported him to Lallie Kemp Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
David Pitts, Albert Pitts, Marshall Johns, Ernest McPharland: On July 23, 1960, an individual shot and killed four of his employees in Monroe, Louisiana.
New York Division:
Jimmy Powell: On July 16, 1964, Jimmy Powell was fifteen years old when he was shot and killed by a police officer in New York City for allegedly charging at the officer with a knife.
San Antonio Division:
Preston Bolden: On May 8, 1953, Preston Bolden was found dead in the vicinity of 419 Nolan, in the proximity of the 600 block of North Walnut Street in San Antonio, Texas, near a railroad track. Bolden's neck was broken.
Ann Thomas: Ann Thomas' partially-clothed body was found on April 8, 1969, near the intersection of Rotary Street and Hamil in San Antonio, Texas. She had been sexually assaulted and shot four times in the head.
Ladislado Ureste: Ladislado Ureste was found on April 22, 1953, by a police officer near Concepcion Park in San Antonio, Texas. He was taken to a local hospital where he died.
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