Emmett Till’s family calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen the investigation into Till’s 1955 lynching.
Emmett Louis Till, a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago, was abducted, tortured and lynched in 1955 by Roy Bryant and his half brother, J.W. Milam after witnesses said he whistled at Bryant’s wife, Carolyn Bryant Donham at her family’s grocery store in Mississippi.
An all-white jury acquitted Bryant and Milam, who later admitted to killing Till in an interview, according to AP.
Now, the last living accomplice is Carolyn Bryant Donham who lives in North Carolina. Till’s family says she must be held accountable for her role in the kidnapping and lynching.
Family members of Till gathered at the Mississippi State Capitol Friday (March 11) to call for justice for his murder over 60 years later.
“We’ve been pressing our federal and state authorities for justice in this murder. Carolyn Byrant Donham is alive. Charge her! We are not walking on this path alone. We have over 250,000 signatures in our petition. People are with us, demanding accountability as well,” family members said according to AP.
“All we’re asking for is accountability,” State Representative De’ Keither Stamps said. “You can’t get away with murder.”
Today I shared words during the #JusticeForEmmettTill press conference. We delivered over 400,000 signatures to the attorney generals office thanks to the collective efforts of @MoveOn and @dailykos under the direction of the @EmmettTill foundation pic.twitter.com/c6e27yAgxc
— Joshua Harris-Till (@JHarrisTill) March 12, 2022
“We want the state of Mississippi to take accountability and be responsible for all Emmett Till’s”
-Family Attorney pic.twitter.com/9L9WtOuJXe
— Jailen Leavell (@nextleavell) March 11, 2022
Related Story: Emmett Till’s Birthday Commemorated at Two Mississippi Museums
After the press conference, family members delivered the petitions to lawmakers inside the capitol.
The Senate passed legislation that designated lynching as a hate crime and sent the Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act to President Joe Biden’s desk.
But, Michelle Williams, chief of staff for Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, doubts there will be a renewed investigation.
“This is a tragic and horrible crime, but the FBI, which has far greater resources than our office, has investigated this matter twice and determined that there is nothing more to prosecute,” Williams said.
Even with the doubts, there is still hope that justice will be served. The Senate passed legislation that designated lynching as a hate crime and sent the Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act to President Joe Biden’s desk on Monday (March 4).
Hopefully, this is a good sign and will lead to a renewal of the investigation.
The Justice for Emmett Till Petition link is https://tinyurl.com/y3v5dauk .