Maryland has officially launched a new alert system to flag racist incidents and its named after Emmett Till, NPR reports.
The Emmett Till Alerts System was named in honor of Till, who was abducted, tortured and killed in 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman at the age of 14. “When the FBI director said often that the greatest domestic terrorism threat is white supremacists, we have to take hate crimes and terrorist threats seriously,” said Carl Snowden of the Caucus of African American Leaders of Anne Arundel County, Md. during a news conference.
After being the subject of racist incidents over the past year, including targeted bomb threats at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), as well as, hate messages written by vandals on the doors of a church Maryland is taking necessary action to ensure that its citizens are safe.
The new warning system went into effect this week and will notify Black leaders across the state about any credible racist incidents or hate crimes that take place anywhere within Maryland. Following the report, an official team will decide if an alert should be sent out to residents. “The Emmett Till Alerts System is a step in the right direction for our community to govern itself and to heal itself,” said Antonio Palmer, senior pastor of Kingdom Celebration Center in Gambrills, Md.
According to Snowden, there are three levels to the new alert system including a low, medium, and high notification. The highest tier signals a likelihood of violence or death. “Not all hate crimes are investigated. Not all hate crimes are reported, for a variety of reasons. What we are going to do is make sure every hate crime that we’re made aware of goes out on this alert system,” he said. AlertMedia, the company responsible for notifying individuals, will do so via text messages and email.