The Department of Justice has reopened its investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old whose vicious lynching and the subsequent acquittal of his killers became a flashpoint for the civil-rights movement.
The renewed investigation was first revealed in a recent federal report, which didn't specify what new information investigators were acting on.
Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, was visiting relatives in rural MS when he was accused of whistling and making sexual advances at a white woman, Carolyn Bryant.
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Four days later, on August 28, 1955, Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, rousted Emmett from his bed in the middle of the night, ordered him into the bed of a pickup and eventually beat him viciously before shooting him in the head. The men later confessed in a magazine interview but weren't retried; both are now dead.
Mississippi District Attorney Dewayne Richardson, whose circuit oversees the community in which Emmett was abducted, offered his opinion on the development. His mother, Mamie Till Mobley, had his casket left open.
No other information is known in regards to the reopening of the case.
According to the Associated Press, Carolyn Bryant - who will turn 84 years old this month and goes by Carolyn Donham - lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Parker says the Justice Department hasn't told Till's family anything about the reopened investigation. But it was issued in March following the publication previous year of "The Blood of Emmett Till".
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Emmett Till, a Chicago native, was visiting family in Money, Mississippi, when he walked into a shop owned by Carolyn Donham, then Carolyn Bryant. When Donham had testified in the Till case she said that the teen Till grabbed her and verbally threatened her. Bryant said she pulled away, and moments later the young man "caught me at the cash register", grasping her around the waist with both hands and pulling her toward him.
Two white men were tried and acquitted by all-white juries after Till's brutal slaying 63 years ago.
"That part's not true", she told Tyson, referring to her claims that Till had grabbed her and made verbal advances, as Sheila Weller reports for Vanity Fair.
The woman - Carolyn Bryant - reportedly told her husband and brother that Emmett had groped her, made crude remarks, and wolf-whistled at Carolyn.
"And she also said, in her words, 'nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him, '" Tyson said. A judge ruled the testimony inadmissible.
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