After 66 years, the Department of Justice investigation into the cold case murder of Emmett Till is officially closed.
Carolyn Bryant Donham, Till’s accuser will not be charged. People are outraged.
“I was very disappointed. What I am hoping and what others are hoping is that she can be held accountable and another investigation can be reopened. At least for a kidnapping charge,” said Kevin Wilson Jr., the filmmaker and Durham Hillside High School graduate who in 2017 produced the Oscar-nominated short “My Nephew Emmett.”
The Black 14-year-old’s murder by a White mob became the catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.
In 1955, while Till was visiting family in Mississippi, Bryant Donham accused the boy of whistling and making sexual advances.
The woman’s husband, Roy Bryant, and John William Milam were acquitted by an all-White jury. Protected by double Jeopardy they later confessed to the killing.
In 2018, an investigation into the killing was reopened after the release of Dr. Tim Tyson’s book, “The Blood of Emmett Till.” Tyson, a senior research scholar at Duke University claimed during interviews that Bryant Donham recanted her story and lied about her interactions with Till.
She denied those claims to the DOJ and it determined there was not enough evidence to prosecute the case.