Emmett Till’s family reacts to Attorney General’s Office decision to not reopen his murder case

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In an article by the AP, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office says it has no plans to re-open the Emmett Till case.

This comes after an unserved warrant was found in Leflore County just last month.

Despite this unserved warrant being found, the AG’s Office says there’s no new evidence to open the case back up and prosecute Carolyn Bryant Donham, who accused Till of whistling at her.

It’s news that’s not sitting well with Emmett Till’s family members.

“This has everything to do with the history of Mississippi not being willing to face the justice that this family so deserves,” said Emmet Till’s cousin, Priscilla Sterling.

The unserved warrant was recently found in the basement of the Leflore County Courthouse in Greenwood, charging Donham, her then-husband Roy Bryant and his brother-in-law, J.W. Milam, in Till’s abduction in 1955.

“This is the state of Mississippi,” Sterling said. “It’s time for mindsets to change. It’s time to challenge this racist history that continues to lurk in this state.”

Following Till’s murder, Milam and Bryant were arrested.

Both men were found not guilty.

Sterling says a petition is now going around where people are trying to gather enough signatures to put pressure on the Leflore County District Attorney, DeWayne Richardson, to serve the recently discovered warrant.

“We’re going to continue to put pressure on DeWayne Richardson in serving that warrant, convening a new grand jury to present all of the new evidence that the family has,” said Sterling. “We have evidence more than just the memoir that she has, that her family has allowed to come out, plus the arrest warrant with this information with the U.S. Senators being involved in this case for obstructing justice.”

Donham recently released a memoir saying she didn’t want Till killed.

However, Sterling says she thinks it’s just a tactic being used by Donham to get sympathy.

“Why would you wait 67 years after the fact to come and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t want anything to happen to him?’ I don’t want to hear that. That’s irrelevant to me. We want to deal with the issue at hand, and that’s for her to be arrested,” Sterling said.

We reached out to the AG’s office and the Leflore County District Attorney DeWayne Richardson, who would be the person in charge of pursuing the case against Donham.

At this time, we’re still waiting to hear back from both offices.

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