1955 Warrant In Emmett Till Case Found, Family Seeks Arrest Of Woman

by | Jun 29, 2022 | Politics

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A team searching the basement of a Mississippi courthouse for evidence about the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till has found the unserved warrant charging a white woman in his 1955 kidnapping, and relatives of the victim who initiated the hunt want authorities to finally arrest her nearly 70 years later.A warrant for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham — identified as “Mrs. Roy Bryant” on the document — was discovered last week inside a file folder that had been placed in a box, Leflore County Circuit Clerk Elmus Stockstill told The Associated Press on Wednesday.AdvertisementDocuments are kept inside boxes by decade, he said, but there was nothing else to indicate where the warrant, dated Aug. 29, 1955, might have been.“They narrowed it down between the ’50s and ’60s and got lucky,” said Stockstill, who certified the warrant as genuine.The search was started by the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and included two members of Till’s family: Cousin Deborah Watts, head of the Foundation; and her daughter, Teri Watts. They want authorities to use the warrant to arrest Donham, who at the time of the slaying was married to one of two white men tried and acquitted just weeks after Till was abducted from a relative’s home, killed and dumped into a river.“Serve it and charge her,” Teri Watts told the AP in an interview.Donham set off the case in August 1955 by accusing the 14-year-old Till of making improper advances at a family store in Money, Mississippi. A cousin of Till who was there has said Till whistled at the woman, which flew in the face of Mississippi’s racist social codes of the era.AdvertisementEvidence indicates a woman, possibly Donham, identified Till to the men who later killed him. The arrest warrant against Donham was publicized at the time, but the Leflore County sheriff told reporters he did not want to “bother” the woman since she had two young children to care for.Now in her 80s and most recently living in North Carolina …

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