Screenshot from ABC Tampa Bay

Justice Department Reopens Emmett Till Case But What About Modern-Day Lynchings

The Department of Justice is reopening the case surrounding the brutal, racially motivated murder of Emmett Till in 1955. The announcement was made in March, citing newly discovered information pertinent to the case, but made its way into headlines on Thursday.

But why now

The decision was sparked by information in a 2017 book, “The Blood of Emmett Till” by historian Timothy Tyson. The author doesn’t believe his book could lead to criminal charges, though.

“It’s possible that the investigation will turn up something. But there’s nothing that I know of, and nothing in my research, that is actionable, I don’t think,” he told the Associated Press. “But I’m not an attorney or a detective.”

The woman who lied about Till coming on to her, Carolyn Donham, is still alive and admitted in a 2008 interview that she had lied in her testimony when she said Till touched her. Tyson also reports this in his book. But he doesn’t think Donham can be held criminally accountable for anything today.

“Because the only thing that she disclosed to me is perjury, that she testified falsely in court,” Tyson told the Washington Post. “The statute of limitations on that ran out in 1958.”

Donham’s ex-husband, Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law J.W. Milam are the only two people who were charged in Till’s murder. An all-white jury acquitted them, although they later admitted to the heinous crime to the press. (Donham and Bryant eventually divorced.)

Both men have passed away. Anyone else who was considered a suspect at the time has also since died.

Reporter Chuck Modi criticized the decision to open Till’s case instead of looking to present-day cases that suffered injustice due to racism.

Related Story: The Data Is In: Police Disproportionately Killed Black People in 2017

Today, innocent Black men and boys continue to be lynched — notably at the hands of law enforcement officers, and often when they are unarmed. More often than not, like in Till’s death, no one is punished for the crime. And those who try to shed light on the issue — including Black Lives Matter activists and athletes who use their platform to push for social justice — are often criticized or even criminalized.

More information on the Till case could still be on its way, though, the Post reported:

“Tyson received a copy of Donham’s unpublished memoir, ‘More Than a Wolf Whistle: The Memoir of Carolyn Bryant Donham,’ which he gave to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the restriction that it not be released until 2036 or until Donham’s death.”

Latest News

multi race business woman

New Report Shows Significant Increase in Female and Black Representation in the Executive Boardroom

Diversity and inclusion appear to be successfully increasing among America’s largest and most successful companies. The finding comes from a new report conducted by executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates as part of its review of DEI representation in executive offices. Ariel Zilber of the New York Post reported that…

Taco Bell

Taco Bell Creates Business School To Help Underrepresented Groups Become Franchise Owners

Taco Bell and the popular fast-food chain’s owner Yum! Brands have entered the DEI arena with a new business school designed to help people of all backgrounds — and people of color in particular — advance into restaurant ownership. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business reported that “a select group of…

LGBTQ dog tags

US Government Will Now Allow Veterans To Identify As Trans on Veteran Affairs Medical Records

In another giant leap forward for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the military, the federal government has announced that military veterans can now officially identify as trans in their official medical records. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade reported that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has confirmed that veterans…

Comcast NBCUniversal’s NBCU Academy Partners With 13 New Academic Institutions

Originally published at Comcast NBCUniversal ranked No. 6 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   NBCU Academy, NBCU News Group’s multi-platform journalism training and development program, significantly expanded its reach to 30 institutions by adding 13 new partners, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced. The new…