There have been renewed calls for justice concerning Carolyn Bryant Donham in the 1955 kidnapping and death of Emmett Till after an unserved warrant was found in a Mississippi courtroom basement two weeks ago. As The Daily Beast reports, some activists have taken the long-sought-after accountability to another level as they marched into a senior living facility in North Carolina looking for Donham.
While the Department of Justice stated there was no further prosecution possible and closed Till’s case in December, the newly discovered warrant raises new questions regarding possible prosecution. The racial-justice activists in question believed that Donham was living in that particular area of town. The Daily Beast also adds they went to an apartment believed to be occupied by Donham before going to the assisted living facility. Protestors were prepared to self-extradite Donham back to Mississippi if they found her at one of the two facilities.
“You cannot ignore this,” Till’s cousin Priscilla Sterling said, WRAL reports. “If this is what’s needed to do for us to change our mindset, our behaviors, and attitudes in society, then this will do it. This will do it. Execute the warrant.”
The Daily Beast states that residents were shocked that the protestors went inside and even put on brief lockdown until Raleigh police showed up. Donham initially accused a 14-yr old Emmett Till of whistling at her at a store in 1955. Her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J. W. Milam, abducted Till at gunpoint from his home, then tortured, killed him, and threw his body in the Tallahatchie River. The warrant charged two white men involved in the crime — along with Donham — with the kidnapping of Till. The activists have indicated that they will continue searching for Dunham to bring her to justice.
“I do understand that Ms. Bryant is in her mid-to late-eighties, but understandably, this is a crime she committed when she was 22. Sixty years later, it’s time for her to be held accountable,” one protester, named only as Monte, told local media.