ATLANTA — In February 2007, Alberto R. Gonzales, the attorney general under President George W. Bush, issued a stern warning to those who murdered blacks with impunity during the civil rights era: “You have not gotten away with anything. We are still on your trail.”
He noted that time was short. The window of opportunity to solve racially motivated crimes more than 40 years old was closing. Families of the victims had waited decades for resolution.
More than three years later, they are still waiting.
There have been no federal indictments since Mr. Gonzales’s announcement, which heralded the Civil Rights-Era Cold Case Initiative. Very little of the millions of dollars approved by Congress to finance the initiative has materialized. Though 40-year-old murder cases are incredibly difficult to solve, no Federal Bureau of Investigation field agents have been assigned to pursue the cases full time.
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