Emmett Till’s family is hurt by Mississippi Attorney Generals’ decision to not reopen the lynching case after old warrant was found.
The Till family can’t seem to catch a break.
Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s decision not to reopen Emmett Till’s murder case serves as fresh salt in an old wound. He has no intention of prosecuting the white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, whose accusation caused a firestorm that led to the lynching of Till.
As you may recall, Till was accused of whistling at a white woman, which wasn’t illegal but deemed egregious enough in the eyes of white men to murder the 14-year-old. Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, said her son had a stutter and she taught him to whistle whenever he couldn’t form his next word. One of the boys who accompanied Till at the grocery store claims Till did not whistle for that reason but he was not whistling at Bryant. He was thrilled by a checker game underway on the grocery store’s porch.
A group of researchers found an unserved warrant in the basement of the Leflore County Courthouse in June. The warrant charged Donham, her then-husband Roy Bryant as well as her brother-in-law, J.W. Milam in Till’s 1955 abduction.
Milam and Bryant were taken into custody but Donham was not. The men were later found not guilty of Till’s murder.
Michelle Williams, chief of staff for Attorney General Lynn Fitch told the Associated Press, “There’s no new evidence to open the case back up”.
In December, the Justice Department decided not to file charges after an internal investigation and subsequently closed the case.
Priscilla Sterling, Till’s cousin said, “This has everything to do with the history of Mississippi not being willing to face the justice that this family so deserves”.
She continued, “It’s time for mindsets to change. It’s time to challenge this racist history that continues to lurk in this state.
Rumors have been traveling that retired officials and closeted Klansmen who desire to uphold the “Old South” will never allow the case to reopen. Regardless of the evidence that has been presented.
Sterling mentioned a petition has been circulating to compel Leflore county District Attorney, DeWayne Richardson to take action and serve the recently discovered warrant.
“We’re going to continue to put pressure on DeWayne Richardson in serving that warrant [and] convening a new grand jury to present all of the new evidence that the family has,” Sterling revealed. “We have evidence more than just her memoir, plus the arrest warrant with this information with the U.S. Senators being involved in this case for obstructing justice”.
In Donham’s memoir, she claimed she didn’t want Till to be killed.
Sterling passionately concluded, “Why would you wait 67 years after the fact to come and say, “Oh, I didn’t want anything to happen to him? I don’t want to hear that. That’s irrelevant to me. We want to deal with the issue at hand and that’s for her to be arrested.”
Yeah, I’m with Sterling. Why come out now and just say you didn’t want him killed? Confess to who is actually guilty. There are videos of Donham tonguing down her husband in front of the courthouse after he was acquitted of a murder that she knows he committed. Although in her 80’s, she still has time. Atone now before it’s too late.