His Casket Was Open, Just Like Emmett Till's 67 Years Ago

sign being held up that says justice for jayland walker
Zain Murdock
July 19, 2022

When Jayland Walker arrived at the coroner’s office, his wrists were handcuffed behind his back. He was also dead. At least 46 bullet wounds littered the 25-year-old’s body, from his jaw to his lungs, to his ankles. 

Walker’s mother was afraid to view his corpse.

Akron, Ohio, police officers fired over 90 rounds at an unarmed Walker during a traffic stop as he retreated on foot. Although the city blurred his body in the footage of his killing, Walker’s family decided to lay the whole truth bare.

They gave him an open casket funeral.  History was repeating itself.

67 years ago, Mamie Till made the same decision about her son. Emmett Till’s body was so unrecognizable a ring on his finger was the only way to identify him. 

On July 13, 2022, over a thousand people came to view Walker at his funeral.

Decades later, Till’s accuser still roams free. How many bloodied, handcuffed bodies will cycle through the news - while we’re expected to move on?

Walker, Till, and their families deserved better. We shouldn’t have to shock this country or its anti-Black, dehumanizing “justice” systems into humanizing us while we brave through constant grief and trauma. This time, we will NOT just move on.

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