Mississippi Attorney General Says There's No Plans To Prosecute Woman Involved In Emmett Till's Lynching

Aisha Nozari

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Mississippi Attorney General Says There's No Plans To Prosecute Woman Involved In Emmett Till's Lynching

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Black Diaspora Voices

Mississippi's top law enforcement official has confirmed she doesn’t plan to pursue criminal charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham - the woman involved in the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till.

In 1955, Donham, a white woman, claimed that 14-year-old Till made ‘advances’ towards her, resulting in his brutal murder.

On 21 August, 1955, Till was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he spoke to Donham, then 21, at a grocery store she owned with her husband, Roy.

Donham accused the teenager of ‘whistling at her’ and ‘attempting to grab her hand’, prompting Roy and his half-brother JW Milam to abduct Till, beat him to within an inch of his life and shoot him.

Officials confirm criminal charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham over Emmett Till's death won't be pursued. Credit: Alamy
Officials confirm criminal charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham over Emmett Till's death won't be pursued. Credit: Alamy

After killing him, Roy and JW Milam tied a large metal fan to Till's neck using barbed wire. They then tossed his body into a river and were later acquitted of murdering him by an all white jury.

However, because they were protected under the double jeopardy rule, the two men soon admitted they had tortured and murdered Till in a magazine interview.

In recent weeks, Emmett's relatives have called on officials to arrest Donham after an unserved warrant for her arrest was found in a Mississippi courthouse basement. 

And this week, the Associated Press spoke to Michelle Williams, who said there’s ‘no new evidence to open the case back up’.

Williams, who is the chief of staff for Attorney General Lynn Fitch's office, also said prosecutors in Leflore County, where Till’s murder took place, had not made any contact with Fitch’s office. 

UNILAD has approached Fitch’s office for comment. 

Donham’s accusations led to Till's brutal murder. Credit: Alamy
Donham’s accusations led to Till's brutal murder. Credit: Alamy

After his murder, Till became an symbol of the Civil Rights movement in the US and his picture is still held aloft at vigils for other murdered black men.

Earlier this month, a copy of Donham’s unpublished memoir was made available to reporters, and in the manuscript, Donham insisted that she didn’t want harm to come to Till.

“I did not wish Emmett any harm and could not stop harm from coming to him, since I didn't know what was planned for him," Donham insisted in the memoir, which was co-written by her daughter-in-law.

She added: "I tried to protect him by telling Roy that 'He's not the one. That's not him. Please take him home'."

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org 

Topics: News, Racism, World News

Aisha Nozari
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