Investigation into 1955 murder of black U.S. teenager Emmett Till reopened

13 July, 2018, 17:13 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • Till a 14-year-old black Chicago boy who was kidnapped tortured and murdered in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi

The federal government has reopened its investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till, the black teenager whose brutal killing in MS shocked the world and helped inspire the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.

An Associated Press report Thursday revealed that the Justice Department had reopened the case, and notified Congress in a March report that it was reinvestigating Till's brutal murder after receiving what the department called "new information".

A 14-year-old African-American boy, whose brutal killing in MS in 1955.

The Justice Department report, which was issued in March, does not indicate what the new information might be, but it comes after the publication of a book a year ago, "The Blood of Emmett Till", by Duke University professor Timothy B. Tyson.

Previous year in his book "The Blood Of Emmett Till", researcher Timothy Tyson disclosed that the white woman who accused Till had told him that her story was not true. Her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, later snatched Till from his bed in the middle of the night.

Two white men were acquitted in Till's lynching, but later confessed. Against advice, she demanded that his funeral be open casket.

"She was glad things had changed (and she) thought the old system of white supremacy was wrong, though she had more or less taken it as normal at the time", Tyson told the magazine. In a book published by historian Timothy B. Tyson, Bryant said she's fuzzy on the details.

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No other information is known in regards to the reopening of the case.

The federal case regarding Till was closed in 2007 after the Justice Department had earlier concluded it could no longer prosecute the case and referred it to the district attorney in Mississippi.

"When I heard that she said he didn't do anything worthy of death and heard she said she didn't tell the truth I was pleased and satisfied", commented Till's cousin. The FBI still conducted an inquiry, which included an exhumation of Emmett's body from an IL cemetery, for about two years to settle whether there were any state crimes that could still be prosecuted. Images of his mutilated body gave witness to the depth of racial hatred in the Deep South and helped build momentum for subsequent civil rights campaigns. Outside of the presence of a jury, she testified that Till had grabbed her around the waist and said, "How about a date, baby?"

Bryant and Milam were acquitted of the murder charges against them by an all-white jury.

"We don't know anything".

Donham, who spoke to Tyson for his book, acknowledged in a 2008 interview that the allegations he'd grabbed her and had been sexually crude were not true. "Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him".

The evidence, which was heard after jurors had been sent out, was ruled inadmissible by the judge.

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