Feds reopen probe into 63-year-old murder of Emmett Till

Feds reopen probe into 63-year-old murder of Emmett Till

Feds reopen probe into 63-year-old murder of Emmett Till

An investigation into the murder of a black teenager who was lynched after allegedly flirting with a white woman in 1955 has been reopened by the federal U.S. government.

Till's story is a stain on American history.

The book says a white woman acknowledged she wasn't truthful when she testified that the 14-year-old Till grabbed her and whistled at her in a store in 1955.

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

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Abducted from the home where he was staying, Mr Till was beaten and shot, and his body was found weighted down with a cotton gin fan in the Tallahatchie River.

Emmett's mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, was horrified to see the state of her son's body when it was returned to her.

But the Justice Department's decision to devote new attention to the case is a demonstration of how deeply the episode resonates more than 60 years after Till was killed in rural MS and photographs of his mutilated body were published, so staggering the nation that the case is now seen as a catalyst for the civil rights movement. An all-white jury freed her husband and the other man even without it. Testimony indicated a woman might have been in a auto with Bryant and Milam when they abducted Till, but no one else was ever charged. The two men later admitted in a magazine interview to killing Till, but were never retried.

The report, issued in March, said the department reopened the case "after receiving new information".

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However, the report came out after the publication of "The Blood of Emmett Till", a book that reveals a key figure in the case admitted she had lied about the events that led to the boy's murder.

"Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him", Donham told Tyson, a senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She resisted and pulled away, but Till approached her and got her by the waist, she said. "Can't you take it?" she recalled his saying. Bryant also said he told her "you don't need to be afraid of me", claiming that he used an obscenity and mentioned something he had done "with white women before".

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. Deborah Watts, a cousin of Till, said she was unaware the case had been reopened until contacted Wednesday by The Associated Press.

It's unclear what, if any, new charges the federal government will be able to bring in Till's murder.

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In this September 23, 1955, file photo, J.W. Milam, left, his wife, second left, Roy Bryant, far right, and his wife, Carolyn Bryant, sit together in a courtroom in Sumner, Miss. It doesn't elaborate. The department declined to comment on the matter.

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