Emmett Till's family calls for justice after finding an unserved arrest warrant in his case

Family members of Emmett Till, the Black 14-year-old whose murder in the Jim Crow South spurred the civil rights movement in America, say they have unearthed an unserved arrest warrant for the White woman who accused him of making advances toward her, sparking the events that led to his death nearly 70 几年前.

I cried. We cried. We hugged,” Deborah Watts, Till’s cousin, told CNN of the moment she said members of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation found the warrant in a dusty, dank box in a county courthouse in Greenwood, 密西西比州. “难以置信的. We held each other. Justice has to be served.
The warrant was discovered last week by a five-member search group led by members of Till’s family, including Deborah Watts and her daughter Terri. An image of the warrant, provided to CNN by the foundation, charged J.W. Milam, Roy Bryant and Bryant’s then-wifeidentified in the document as Mrs. Roy Bryantwith kidnapping and orders their arrests. The warrant is dated August 29, 1955, and signed by the Leflore County Clerk.
      The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation shared this image of an unserved arrest warrant, charging the woman who accused him of making advances toward her with kidnapping.

      The two men were acquitted of Till’s murder soon after by an all-White jury, though they later admitted to the killing in an interview with Look 杂志. Milam died in 1980 and Bryant died in 1994, but his widownow Carolyn Bryant Donhamis still alive, and Emmett Till’s family hopes the warrant will lead to her arrest and, 最终, 正义.
        Justice has to be served,” Watts told CNN, 加, “Emmett led us to it. I know that in my heart.
          The image of the warrant shows the current Leflore County clerk certified the document as authentic on June 21.
          The discovery of the warrant was first reported by the New York Amsterdam News, one of the nation’s oldest African American publications.
          According to The New York Times, an affidavit attached to the warrant said the threedid willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and without lawful authority, forcibly seize and confine and kidnapEmmett Till, though it misspelled his last name. A note on the back of the warrant says Donham was not arrested because she could not be located at the time, 时报报道, citing filmmaker Keith A. Beauchamp, who was part of the team that discovered the warrant.
          Neither Donham nor the Leflore County Clerk’s Office have responded to CNN’s requests for comment.
          Deborah Watts, a cousin of Emmett Till speaks as she point to a painting of Till during a news at the Mississippi Capitol, 在周五, 游行 11, 2022, in Jackson.

          Professor claimed Donham recanted testimony that Emmett Till grabbed her

          While Emmett Till’s killing remains a touchstone moment in the United Stateslong struggle with racial injustice and inequality, 到今天, no one has been held criminally responsible.
          The 14-year-old boy from Chicago was visiting family in Mississippi when he had his fateful encounter with then-20-year-old Carolyn Bryant. Accounts from that day differ, but witnesses alleged Till whistled at the woman at the market she owned with her husband in Money, 密西西比州.
          Roy Bryant and Milam later took Till from his bed, ordered him into the back of a pickup truck and beat him before shooting him in the head and tossing his body into the Tallahatchie River. But they were both acquitted of murder following a trial in which Carolyn Bryant testified that Till grabbed and verbally threatened her. The jury deliberated for barely an hour.
          在 2007, a Mississippi grand jury declined to indict Donham on charges. And according to archived FBI documents, Milam and Roy Bryant were arrested on a kidnapping charge in 1955, but a grand jury failed to indict them. “The original court, 地区检察官, and investigative records related to the 1955 investigation have been apparently lost,” the FBI said in a 2006 报告.
          Half-brothers Roy Bryant, 剩下, and J.W. Milam, 中央, sit with an attorney as they stand trial for the murder of Emmett Till.

          Donham testified in 1955 that Emmett Till grabbed her hand, her waist, and propositioned her, saying he had been withWhite women before.But years later, when professor Timothy Tyson raised that trial testimony in a 2008 interview with Donham, he claimed she told him, “That part’s not true.
          The prospect that the woman at the center of the Till case had recanted her testimonywhich the US Justice Department said in a memo would contradict statements she made during the state trial in 1955 and later to the FBIsparked calls for authorities to investigate the case anew.
          The DOJ, which had already re-examined and closed the case in 2007, reopened the probe into Till’s killing in 2018. 但 the case was closed in December after DOJ’s Civil Rights Division concluded it could not prove Donham had lied. When questioned directly, Donham adamantly denied to investigators that she had recanted her testimony.
            Till’s death captured attention far beyond Mississippi, after a photo of his mutilated body was published in Jet Magazine and spread around the world. 他的母亲, Mamie Till-Mobley, had demanded he have an open-casket funeral so the entire world could see her son’s injuries and the results of racial terrorisma decision that helped fuel the civil rights movement.
            Emmett Till’s legacy, 然而, lives on: 三月, President Joe Biden signed into law the landmark Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which made lynching a federal hate crime.