Unserved Emmitt Till Murder Warrant Uncovered
The 1955 lynching of Chicago teen Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi is widely credited for triggering the American civil rights movement.
Now a 70 year old arrest warrant for Mrs. Roy Bryant, the white woman who accused Till of whistling at her, has been uncovered...
"I cried. We cried. We hugged," Deborah Watts, Emmett's cousin, told CNN of the moment she said members of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation found the warrant in a dusty, dank box in a county courthouse in Greenwood, Mississippi. "Unbelievable. We held each other. Justice has to be served."
The warrant was discovered last week by a five-member search group led by members of Till's family, including Deborah Watts and her daughter Terri. An image of the warrant, provided to CNN by the foundation, charged J.W. Milam, Roy Bryant and Bryant's then-wife -- identified in the document as Mrs. Roy Bryant -- with kidnapping and orders their arrests. The warrant is dated August 29, 1955, and signed by the Leflore County Clerk.
The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation shared this image of an unserved arrest warrant, charging the woman who accused him of making advances toward her with kidnapping.
The two men were acquitted of Emmett's murder soon after by an all-White jury, though they later admitted to the killing in an interview with Look magazine. Milam died in 1980 and Bryant died in 1994, but his widow -- now Carolyn Bryant Donham -- is still alive, and Emmett's family hopes the warrant will lead to her arrest and, ultimately, justice.
"Justice has to be served," Watts told CNN, adding, "Emmett led us to it. I know that in my heart."
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