Justice Department still investigating civil rights era police killings

FILE - This undated photo shows Emmett Louis Till, a 14-year-old black Chicago boy, who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi. The U.S. Justice Department told relatives of Emmett Till on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 that it is ending its investigation into the 1955 lynching of the Black teenager from Chicago who was abducted, tortured and killed after witnesses said he whistled at a white woman in Mississippi. (AP Photo, File)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The Justice Department's decision to close its investigation of Emmett Till's slaying all but ended the possibility of new charges in the teen's death 66 years ago, yet agents are still probing as many as 20 other civil rights "cold cases," including the police killings of 13 Black men in three Southern states decades ago.

The department is reviewing the killings of six men shot by police during a racial rebellion in Augusta, Georgia, in 1970, according to the agency's latest report to Congress. The city best known for hosting golf's Masters Tournament had been engulfed by riots after a Black teenager was beaten to death in the county jail.

The agency also is investigating the killings of seven other Black men involved in student protests in South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana during the societal upheaval of the late 1960s and early '70s.