Thursday, 15 November, 2018

'New information' prompts US to reopen Emmett Till case

Till a 14-year-old black Chicago boy who was kidnapped tortured and murdered in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi 'New information' prompts US to reopen Emmett Till case
Julia Gonzales | 13 July, 2018, 01:25

But it was issued in March following the publication a year ago of "The Blood of Emmett Till".

What's the history of the case? The Chicago teenager was visiting relatives in MS when 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, accused him of making a pass at her in the small-town grocery store she and her husband owned.

The woman - Carolyn Bryant - reportedly told her husband and brother that Emmett had groped her, made crude remarks, and wolf-whistled at Carolyn.

Till was abducted from his great-uncle's house in Money, Mississippi, beaten and shot.

Despite the pleas of his MS family, Roy Bryant and Milam reportedly forced Emmett into their waiting vehicle and drove him down to the Tallahatchie River, where they reportedly forced the teen to carry a 75-pound cotton gin fan.

Roy Bryant and Milam are now dead.

His murderers then strapped a 75-pound cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire so it would weigh him down when they tossed him in the Tallahatchie River.

The only identifying item on Emmett's body was an monogrammed ring.

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He had been mutilated, and his mother's decision to hold an open-casket funeral with his unrecognizable face on full display was instrumental in drawing attention to his case and has been credited with "reigniting a widespread passion for the Civil Rights Movement". Her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, later snatched Till from his bed in the middle of the night. In the book, author Tyson wrote that Donham told him her testimony about Till accosting her wasn't true.

"Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him", she reportedly said during a 2008 interview.

Although two white men eventually confessed to a magazine that they had killed Till, they had previously been acquitted by a MS jury. They were not retried.

The case was closed in 2007 after authorities said the suspects had died and the state grand jury didn't file any charges.

Thursday, the Associated Press reported that, back in March of this year, the Justice Department revealed the reopening to Congress in a report and cited "new information".

Watts, co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, said it's "wonderful" her cousin's killing is getting another look but she didn't want to discuss details.

According to the Associated Press, Carolyn Bryant - who will turn 84 years old this month and goes by Carolyn Donham - lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Though the Justice Department has reopened its investigation-possibly due to Donham's comments to Tyson-it is not yet known if prosecutors will bring a new case against anyone connected to the murder. Outside of the presence of a jury, she testified that Till had grabbed her around the waist and said, "How about a date, baby?"

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