Emmett Till, a 14-year old African American was abducted, mutilated, beat and also shot, by two white men in August 1955.
His murder case helped push the Civil Rights Movement forward at that time.
Till was accused of whistling at confessed killer Roy Bryant’s wife Carolyn.
The accusation led to Till’s kidnapping, which resulted in his brutal death.
Till’s beating was so severe it left him unrecognizable at his own funeral where his mother is credited with allowing an open casket at her son’s public funeral.
Bryant and J.W. Milam, also publicly confessed to the crime after being tried and found not guilty.
Till is one example of a young black man being targeted as guilty without receiving the chance to be proven otherwise.
It seems as though the country wants us to think it’s okay to stereotype black men as guilty of a crime no matter the circumstance of the situation prior to a claim made by a witness or observer.
In Till’s case more than 60 years after his untimely death, Carolyn Bryant Donham has said the claims she made about Till whistling at her were not true and that she can’t recall exactly what happened that day.
In an age of digital video and social media nearly everyone must be proven not guilty.
Singer Chris Brown is known for not having the cleanest track record with law enforcement.
Brown last year was accused by a woman named Baylee Curran of holding a gun to her head.
Brown used his social media platforms to share his side of the situation and proclaiming his innocence.
A few celebrities chimed in to defend Brown against Curran’s claims.
According to TMZ, police can’t move forward with the case due to the District Attorney’s ruling that the evidence was unimpressive when presented by the police.
It’s unsure whether or not the case will ever resume, but Brown is being treated as innocent.
Would your average everyday black male have the same saving grace as a celebrity like Brown?
Delta College student Paul Maxwell, 24, found himself “at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“It was a home invasion going on, on the side at a house I was standing on the side of,” followed Maxwell.
At 15, Maxwell was waiting for a former love interest in his neighborhood when he heard glass breaking at a nearby home.
“They thought I was involved,” said Maxwell, continuing to relay details from the accusation that led to his arrest.
Bystanders began pointing fingers at Maxwell and he tried to flee the scene on his bike, but was detained by police.
“They took me downtown, I remember I was there all night,” said Maxwell whose processing was slowed because he wasn’t carrying identification.
“Things around school got a little hectic for me,” said Maxwell about the aftermath of his arrest.
Being that Maxwell was unidentified he was arrested again while at school and taken back downtown for questioning where he explained to the officers he had no involvement in the home invasion.
Maxwell like a lot of black men in this country feel they are being targeted by law enforcement and even admits “It’s embarrassing.”
Being falsely accused for a black man can result in instant death or a night spent being questioned by police. And in some cases shot dead by police.