Family of Emmett Till want woman who made false accusation to be charged with murder

Authored by and submitted by sheuvvie
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Family of Emmett Till want woman who made false accusation to be charged with murder

Family members of Emmett Till gathered at the Mississippi State Capitol Friday to call for justice for his murder 66 years later.

“We will bear witness to the hatred that has been embedded in our DNA since the slave ships arrived," said Deborah Watts, a cousin of Till and co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation. “We made a promise to Mamie (Till) that we would persist and that’s why we’re here today."

Family members of Emmett Till are at the Mississippi State Capitol calling for justice for his murder 66 years later.

They will deliver a petition with 250K+ signatures asking for charges for Carolyn Donham, whose false accusations led to his death. — Mina Corpuz (@mlcorpuz) March 11, 2022

They are asking for murder charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham, whose false accusations led to the 14-year-old’s kidnapping and lynching in the Delta region. She is the only living accomplice in the crime, they said.

Bryant, then 21 in 1955, was working at the grocery store Till went to with family. On their way out, he whistled at her. She told her husband Roy Bryant that Till grabbed her and made advances against her.

After being beaten, shot and dumped into the Tallahatchie River, Till's face was unrecognizable. His mother Mamie's decision to have an open casket funeral helped launch the civil rights movement.

On Friday, Watts said Donham has not reached out to the Till family to apologize. Watts said she doesn't have hatred for the woman and said charges will help hold her accountable for Till's death.

Supporters of the Till family and its call for justice were also in attendance. They were Reena Evers-Everett, daughter of NAACP organizer Medgar Evers who was assassinated in Jackson; Shelton Chappell, son of Jacksonville woman Johnnie Mae Chappell who was shot by a Klansman; and Wharlest Jackson Jr., son of NAACP organizer Wharlest Jackson who was assassinated in Natchez.

"Where does it stop?" said Everette. "When can we say justice is really being served?"

Read more: 'A sacred tradition': Family, community remember the legacies of Medgar and Charles Evers

After the Friday press conference, family and supporters walked across the street to the Walter Sillers government building to deliver a petition with over 250,000 signatures to Attorney General Lynn Fitch.

Family was able to deliver the petition to a staff member in Attorney General Fitch’s office and talk about how she can help bring justice — Mina Corpuz (@mlcorpuz) March 11, 2022

The petition also asks for Fitch and Fourth Circuit Court District Attorney Dewayne Richardson, who represents the Delta region, to move Till’s case forward by charging Donham.

The U.S. Department of Justice opened investigations into Till's murder in 2004 and 2018. The department closed the recent investigation in December and did not announce new charges.

More: Emmett Till investigation closed by Justice department; no new charges

In the petition, Till's family is asking for an official apology from the federal government, DOJ, the State of Mississippi and local law enforcement.

"We hold the State of Mississippi responsible for bringing justice forward," Watts said to a member of Fitch's office. "You have the opportunity. You just need the will and the courage to make that happen."

Reporter Mina Corpuz can be reached by email at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz.

Jabahonki on March 12nd, 2022 at 16:48 UTC »

Emmit’s mother was the one who demanded Emmit’s casket be open so that the entire world could see what they did to her baby. One of the flames that lit the civil rights movement

lilyaintaG on March 12nd, 2022 at 15:27 UTC »

I can't believe she's still alive. History is closer to us than we think

sheuvvie on March 12nd, 2022 at 13:38 UTC »

On August 28, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African American from Chicago, is murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman four days earlier.

His assailants—the white woman’s husband and his brother—made Emmett carry a 75-pound cotton gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River and ordered him to take off his clothes. The two men then beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head and then threw his body, tied to the cotton gin fan with barbed wire, into the river.

Three days later, his corpse was recovered but was so disfigured that people could only identify it by an initialed ring.

Is Carolyn Bryant still alive? It's believed Carolyn is still alive today, and if so, she would be 88 years old. Details of her life and her whereabouts have been kept private by her family, though it's been said that Carolyn was in poor health prior to the publishing of Timothy Tyson's book.