Justice Dept reopens investigation into Emmett Till’s lynching murder

Justice Dept reopens investigation into Emmett Till’s lynching murder

One year after the publication of Timothy B. Tyson's The Blood of Emmett Till, the federal investigation into the murder of the 14-year-old black child at the hands of two white men has been reopened.

"The Till case has been re-opened by DOJ based upon the discovery of new information", the department said in March.

With the main suspects long dead, the case had been closed since 2007.

The Associated Press reported that the federal report did not indicate details about the new information. 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.

Two white men - Ms Donham's then-husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother JW Milam - were charged with murder but acquitted.

In the January 1956 Look magazine article, titled, "The shocking story of approved killing in Mississippi", Bryant and Milam said they went looking for the "Chicago boy" with the initial intent of scaring him and putting him in his place.

Donham, who will be 84 this month, now lives in Raleigh, N.C. and declined comment to the AP. "We're happy to have that be the case so that ultimately or finally someone can be held responsible for his murder", said Johnson, who leads the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University. Jackson's slaying was an impetus for the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march later that year.

In an op-ed earlier this month, Till's cousin Deborah Watts, founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, argued that holding those guilty of Emmett's murder-even after more than 60 years-is as essential and necessary as it ever was. "None of us wants to do anything that jeopardizes any investigation or impedes, but we are also very interested in justice being done", she said.

Thanks to Donham's falsified testimony, Till was abducted and mutilated before being fatally shot and dumped in the Tallahatchie River.

Emmett's mother demanded that her son's body be returned to Chicago, where he was put on public display for a viewing. "So many emotions through the years". Three years later, a MS grand jury declined to issue new charges.

Who will now stand with us to make sure there is justice for Emmett? I don't know what's - we don't know.

It is not clear from the report what that information might be, but relatives of Till asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reopen the case after the book was published. Donham, then 21 years old and known as Carolyn Bryant, testified in 1955 as a prospective defense witness in the trial of Bryant and Milam.

At one point, the men recalled, Emmett told them, "You bastards, I'm not afraid of you". "He said, 'How about a date, baby?'" she testified. She resisted and pulled away, but Till approached her and got her by the waist, she said.

"What's the matter baby, can't you take it?", she claimed he said.

The evidence, which was heard after jurors had been sent out, was ruled inadmissible by the judge.

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