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Attorney Feels Driven To Solve 1940 Slaying Of NAACP Member

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Posted at 9:07 AM, Jun 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 01:40:44-04

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Seventy-five years after an NAACP activist was killed in West Tennessee, a retired white attorney is searching for answers in the unsolved case.

Elbert Williams was killed by unknown assailants in Brownsville on June 20, 1940 -- more than two decades before NAACP leader Medgar Evers was gunned down by a Klansman outside his Mississippi home in 1963.

Williams was taken from his home by a group of men led by a police officer, and his body was found later in the Hatchie River.

His slaying was never solved. But the Justice Department is reviewing new evidence gathered by 71-year-old Jim Emison in what historians believe to be the first killing of an NAACP official working for civil rights.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)