The U.S. Justice Department has quietly reopened its investigation into the 1955 lynching of an African American teenager, Emmett Till, 63 years after the 14-year-old African American teen was brutally murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Federal officials announced Thursday that it launched an investigation into the case based on “new information” that it received about Till’s 1955 kidnapping, torture, and murder.
Till’s killers were never convicted. The black teenager from Chicago was killed three days after he reportedly wolf-whistled at a Carolyn Donham while visiting family in Mississippi. Donham reached out to the historian Timothy B. Tyson in 2008, and told him that Till actually hadn’t assaulted her, whistled at her or made sexual advances.
Some have called for Donham, who is still living, to face charges.
I don't care how old Carolyn (Bryant) Donham is.
Her admitted lies about Emmett Till, even under oath, which is a crime itself, had EVERYTHING to do with his brutal murder.
She should be held responsible for this, just as old Nazis are tracked down, tried, and jailed. pic.twitter.com/TwmgeUgRh4
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 12, 2018
Rep. Bobby L. Rush, a Democratic congressman who urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reopen the case last year, released a statement Thursday applauding the announcement.
“I am glad to see the federal government following through on this request. This case is not only critically important for the role it played in sparking the Civil Rights movement, but so that Emmett and his family receive the justice that is owed to them. It is vital that everyone — both victims and perpetrators — knows that heinous crimes of this nature will never go unpunished,” he said.