Monday, May 16, 2022

Justice Department Reopens Emmett Till Murder Case

Emmett Till
Emmett Till

*The federal government has reopened the murder case of Emmett Till due to “new information” it did not detail, the Associated Press reports.

The black teen’s brutal murder in 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman shocked the country and helped to ignite the civil rights movement.

The Justice Department, in a report to Congress in March, said it was reopening the investigation.

“In memory of #EmmettTill and thousands of other black men, women & children lynched, we must finally pass anti-lynching law,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson tweeted Thursday.

Till was 14 when Carolyn Donham, a white 21-year-old shopkeeper in the town of Money, Mississippi, said he grabbed and whistled at her. Three days later, the battered body of Tilll was found in the Tallahatchie River.

Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, requested that her son’s casket be left open for the funeral so the public could see the depth of racial hatred inflicted upon her son. More than 100,000 African-Americans paid their respects.

Donham’s then-husband, Roy Bryant, and his brother J.W. Milam were charged with murder but acquitted a few weeks later.

Bryant has since died, and the case was finally closed more than a decade ago with no further charges being filed. But Till’s death made headlines again last year with publication of “The Blood of Emmett Till.” The book, written by Timothy B. Tyson, quotes Donham as admitting in 2008 that she wasn’t truthful when she made the claims.

Carolyn Donham
Carolyn Donham

Donham, now 84, lives in North Carolina.

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