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Emmett Till accuser, Carolyn Bryant Donham, passes away at age 88

Donham Till
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman arguably responsible for the brutal death of Emmett Till, has passed away.

Over six decades ago, Till, a 14-year-old Black male from Chicago, was staying with relatives in the small town of Money, Mississippi, when he was accused of whistling at Donham.

When told of Till’s purported actions, Donham’s husband and his half-brother beat and tortured the teen until he died from a gunshot to the head.

The young man’s death has fueled a civil rights movement that has lasted for decades with his renewed case being closed once again in December 2021, leaving Donham free of any charges.

Six months after the case was closed, a warrant was found in the basement of the courthouse, calling for Donham’s arrest one day after Till’s death on August 28, 1955.

Despite the warrant being publicized during the time of its issuing, Donham was not arrested as the Leflore County sheriff at the time reportedly stated that he did not want to bother the mother of two.

In early August of 2022, a Leflore County grand jury declined to indict Donham, stating that there was not a sufficient amount of evidence to indict the 88-year-old.

In February, the family of Till filed a lawsuit against Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks in an effort for law enforcement to serve the warrant on Bryant. Banks has previously stated that he did not know of the warrant’s existence prior to its discovery in June.

Donham never faced prosecution. She died as a result of an ongoing battle with cancer and was in hospice care.

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