A North Carolina District Attorney Says She May Pursue Charges Against the Woman who Accused Emmett Till

Justice for Emmett Till may finally come, nearly seven decades after the teenager was kidnapped and brutally murdered in Mississippi for supposedly flirting and whistling at a white woman.

That’s because an unserved arrest warrant from 1955 for Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman who accused Till of the flirting (a crime for Black men, at the time), was discovered in the basement of a Mississippi courthouse this week.

The discovery has led Till’s extended family and civil rights activists to push the district attorney in Leflore County, Mississippi (where the incident occurred) and in Raleigh, North Carolina (where Donham was last known to live) to take action and arrest the 87- year-old woman.

“We would certainly see that she is brought to justice,” Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told the News & Observer.

Both district attorneys would need to cooperate in order to arrest Donham, Freeman said, but she encouraged Mississippi authorities to do their “due diligence” and find out why, exactly, Donham wasn’t arrested all those years ago.

If an arrest and trial were to come to fruition, it’s pertinent that Donham has admitted to fabricating the accusations that led to Till’s death, telling a historian in 2017, “nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.”

Till was just 14 when he was murdered.

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