Posted on March 14, 2022

Family of Emmett Till Wants Woman Who Made False Accusation to Be Charged With Murder

Mina Corpuz, Clarion Ledger, March 11, 2022

Family members of Emmett Till gathered at the Mississippi State Capitol Friday to call for justice for his murder 66 years later.

“We will bear witness to the hatred that has been embedded in our DNA since the slave ships arrived,” said Deborah Watts, a cousin of Till and co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation. “We made a promise to Mamie (Till) that we would persist and that’s why we’re here today.”

They are asking for murder charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham, whose false accusations led to the 14-year-old’s kidnapping and lynching in the Delta region. She is the only living accomplice in the crime, they said.

Bryant, then 21 in 1955, was working at the grocery store Till went to with family. On their way out, he whistled at her. She told her husband Roy Bryant that Till grabbed her and made advances against her.


On Friday, Watts said Donham has not reached out to the Till family to apologize. Watts said she doesn’t have hatred for the woman and said charges will help hold her accountable for Till’s death.


In the petition, Till’s family is asking for an official apology from the federal government, DOJ, the State of Mississippi and local law enforcement.