The unserved warrant for a white woman in the 1955 kidnapping of Black teenager Emmett Till was discovered by a team searching a Mississippi courthouse basement for evidence about Till’s lynching by a white mob in August 28, 1955.
Now relatives of Till want the police to finally arrest the woman nearly 70 years later.
The warrant was issued for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham, who is identified as “Mrs. Roy Bryant” on the document, which was discovered inside a file folder that had been placed in a box, Leflore County Circuit Clerk Elmus Stockstill told The Associated Press.
The warrant was dated Aug. 29, 1955.
Stockstill has certified the warrant to be genuine.
The search group included members of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and two Till relatives: cousin Deborah Watts, head of the foundation, and her daughter, Teri Watts, AP reported.
In 1955, Donham was married to one of two white men who were tried and acquitted just weeks after Till was kidnapped from a relative’s home, lynched, and dumped into a river.
Till’s relatives want Donham, who is still living, to be served the warrant.
“Serve it and charge her,” Teri Watts told AP.
Keith Beauchamp, directed the documentary film “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till,” was also part of the search. He told AP there’s enough new evidence to prosecute Donham.
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It was Donham who accused 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. Word got around town and Till was abducted and killed. His killing has been credited with sparking the Civil Rights Movement.
Donham later admitted she gave false testimony that Emmett Till made physical and verbal threats to her.
Although arrest warrant against Donham was publicized at the time, the local sheriff told reporters he did not want to “bother” the woman since she had two young children to care for, The Amsterdam News reported.
Donham is now in her 80s and most recently living in North Carolina. She has not commented publicly on calls for her prosecution.
There had been hopes that the Department of Justice would have taken action prior to this discovery, but in 2021, for the second time, the DOJ announced that it was closing the case.
Photo: Emmett Louis Till, 14, was lynched near Money, Mississippi, in August, 1955. An unserved warrant was found in June 2022 charging a white woman in his kidnapping. Till’s relatives want her arrested. (AP Photo, File)/ Carolyn Donham, known as Carolyn Bryant, acknowledged that she gave false testimony that Emmett Till made physical and verbal threats (1955 file photo AP).