Sixty-five years ago this week, Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. The shooting of Jacob Blake by police is a wrenching reminder of how little progress our country has made since then. Justice and accountability cannot wait 65 years more.
A court has now cleared the way for a trial to finally begin, more than 7 years after Rafael Solis died while being held in the Webb County, Texas jail. Every excuse, tactic and legal argument the jailors’ attorneys have used to delay the case have now been rejected. And Rafael’s family is closer than ever to getting their day in court.
When I met Maria Escamilla at her home in Laredo, Texas last year, one of the first things she said to me was, “I’ve been waiting so long.” In 2009, her son had died while in police custody at the Webb County Jail in Texas. More than 6 years later, no one had been held accountable. But on April 12, the Fifth Circuit ruled that charges against the jailers responsible for caring for Mr. Solis could move forward. At long last, those responsible for Rafael’s death can finally be held accountable.