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Emmett Till’s Murder Investigation Re-Opened By The Justice Department

The federal government has quietly reopened the case of Emmett Till, he was lynched after a white woman claimed that the young man was whistling and making sexual advances towards her….

According to the Washington Post:

The Justice Department told Congress in a report submitted in March that it has reopened the investigation into Till’s death “after receiving new information.” The report, with a title bearing the name of laws inspired by Till’s death, did not specify what new information investigators have and did not share other details, citing the pending investigation. Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, was visiting relatives in rural Mississippi when he was accused of whistling at and making sexual advances on a white woman, Carolyn Bryant. On Aug. 28, 1955, the woman’s husband, Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law, J.W. Milam, kidnapped Till and killed him. His mangled body was found in the Tallahatchie River.

Mississippi Gov. Hugh White called for the prosecution of Bryant and Milam, who were charged, but they were acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury after just over an hour of deliberation.

The two men later told a journalist that they killed Till. They died without being convicted. The reopening of the investigation marks the first major development in the case since it was declared closed in December 2007.

Ten years ago, Carolyn Bryant (now Carolyn Donham) broke her decades-long silence in an interview with historian Timothy B. Tyson. Tyson told the AP last year that Donham had told him in 2008 that Till never made physical and verbal advances toward her.

“She told me that ‘nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,’ ” Tyson told the AP.

Tyson wrote about the interview in his book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” which was published last year.

Citing the book, Deborah Watts, Till’s cousin, wrote an op-ed for USA Today last week, calling for the reopening of the investigation.

She wrote:

Our patience has worn thin. Time is up! We have spent many sleepless nights thinking of ways to move justice forward for Emmett. With thousands of questions remaining unanswered and with the blessings of the next of kin in our family, I’d like to share just a few of our questions and concerns with you and urge for your immediate support:

Will there ever be justice for Emmett?

Some have told us to move on, it’s too late! Is it really too late for us to pursue justice?

Is Donham above the law? Does she never have to answer for being an accomplice in Emmett’s kidnapping and murder? Or be held accountable today for the appropriate charges?

Watts has not responded to a request for comment from The Washington Post, but she told the AP she did not know the investigation had been reopened until a reporter contacted her this week. Watts, who co-founded the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, called the news “wonderful” but did not comment further.

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