Activists demanding justice for Emmett Till marched into a North Carolina seniors’ facility on Wednesday searching for his accuser, Carolyn Bryant Donham, who is the subject of a recently discovered decades-old warrant.
In 1955, Donham, a white woman, accused Till, a 14-year-old black boy, of referencing her at a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. A week later, Till was kidnapped, tortured and shot dead before being thrown into the Tallahatchie River. His swollen and mutilated body was recovered after three days in the water – shocking images of his open-coffin funeral showed the world the brutality of racial violence in America.
Donham’s husband and half-brother were arrested in connection with Till’s lynching at the time but were acquitted at trial. They later admitted the crime publicly, but were protected from prosecution by the double jeopardy rules. Then last month, 67 years after Till’s murder, an arrest warrant for Donham was discovered in the basement of a Mississippi courthouse. Till’s family wants the warrant to be enforced – and she’s not alone.
“You can’t ignore that,” said Till’s cousin, Priscilla Sterling, reports WRAL. “If we need to do this to change the way we think, behave and attitudes in society, then this will be the case. It will. Execution of the arrest warrant.”
Dozens of racial justice activists descended on Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday. They believed Donham – who would be in her 80s by now – lived in the area. Protesters are said to have searched for her in two different locations in hopes that local authorities would be willing to extradite her to Mississippi for arrest. They first arrived at an apartment where Donham was said to be staying before traveling to a facility for the elderly.
“Time to face your demons. Come out,” one protester was heard saying.
People at the facility were shocked to see some of the protesters march in and search for Donham. A resident there said the site was briefly closed during the incursion, and Raleigh Police showed up within minutes of the protesters entering. “I understand Ms Bryant is in her mid to late 80’s but understandably this is a crime she committed when she was 22. Sixty years later, it’s time she was held accountable,” said one protester, just as Monte told local media.
District Attorney for Mississippi’s Fourth Circuit District Court, Dewayne Richardson, has not commented on the newly discovered warrant. But the Justice Department closed Till’s case in December, saying it could not prosecute. “In 1955, there were no federal hate crime laws, and the statute of limitations expired on the only civil rights laws in effect at the time,” says a department report.
Activists say they will continue to search for Donham.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/emmett-till-protesters-storm-senior-site-in-north-carolina-seeking-carolyn-bryant-donham-his-wrongful-accuser?source=articles&via=rss Emmett Till protesters storm Senior Site in North Carolina in search of Carolyn Bryant Donham, his false accuser