Emmett Till’s Family Implores Authorities to Arrest White Woman Who Falsely Accused Boy on Outstanding Kidnap Warrant From 1955
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Emmett Till’s Family Implores Authorities to Arrest White Woman Who Falsely Accused Boy on Outstanding Kidnap Warrant From 1955

After their acquittal in the Emmett Till trial, defendant Roy Bryant(left), smokes a cigar as his wife happily embraces him. His half brother, J.W. Milam and his wife show jubilation. Bryant and Milam were cleared by an all white, male jury of the charge of having murdered Till, a 14-year-old Chicago boy who was black. The jury was out just one hour and 7 minutes. The pair were accused of murdering young Till for allegedly wolf-whistling at Bryant's wife. Not long after the trial, the pair admitted to murdering Till in an interview with a reporter, showing no remorse.

The family of Emmett Till is still seeking justice for the brutal way he was murdered in 1955.

The family believes that Carolyn Bryant Donham, the white woman who alleged that Till whistled at her and supposedly grabbed her, may have an outstanding warrant for his kidnapping, CBS News reports. They want her arrested on that warrant.

Donham was named in a warrant almost 67 years ago, accused of being involved in the abduction of the young Black boy. Till’s family wants Donham arrested to try to bring some accountability for Till’s untimely death. She was never arrested or brought in as police officials stated that she was the mother of two young children, and they reportedly did not want to bother her.

In August 1955 in Mississippi, Bryant Donham claimed Till flirted with her, which led to her husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, kidnapping the 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago for whistling at Bryant’s wife. 

The two men tortured Till, shot him in the head, attached a 75-pound cotton gin fan to his neck using barbed wire, and threw his body into the Tallahatchie River. The New York Times reports that detectives discovered his decomposed remains on Aug. 31. 

A trial accusing her then-husband and another man ended with an acquittal for the two men.

Till’s family attorney, Jaribu Hill, says that relatives of Till still prefer a murder prosecution. Since there has been no evidence the kidnapping warrant was ever dismissed, they feel it could be used to arrest Bryant Donham and get her before a criminal court.

“This warrant is a stepping stone toward that,” said Hill. “Because warrants do not expire, we want to see that warrant served on her.”

Till’s distant cousin, Deborah Watts, who runs the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, said it’s about time for someone to arrest Bryant Donham in Till’s kidnapping.

“Mississippi is not the Mississippi of 1955, but it seems to still carry some of that era of protecting the white woman,” she said.


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