Posted on July 8, 2022

Emmett Till Protesters Storm Senior Living Facility in Search of Woman Accused of Setting Lynch Mob on Him

Alyssa Guzman, Daily Mail, July 7, 2022

Emmett Till protesters stormed a senior living facility in search of the woman who has been accused of setting a lynch mob on him after a 1955 arrest warrant was unearthed in a Mississippi courthouse.

Carolyn Bryant Donham, now in her 80s, of Raleigh, North Carolina, reportedly accused Till of whistling at her in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi, in 1955.

A week later, the 14-year-old Till was abducted, tortured, fatally shot and dumped into the Tallahatchie River, where his body was found swollen and mutilated three days later. His open casket shocked the nation.

Donham’s husband, Roy Bryant, and half-brother, JW Milam, were arrested for his lynching, but later acquitted. The pair eventually admitted guilt, but couldn’t be prosecuted due to double-jeopardy laws.

Last week, the unserved arrest warrant for Donham was found in the basement of a Mississippi courthouse, causing Till’s family and activists to once again call for justice.

‘You cannot ignore this,’ said Priscilla Sterling, Till’s cousin, according to WRAL. ‘If this is what’s needed to do for us to change our mindset, our behaviors and attitudes in the society, then this will do it. This will do it. Execute the warrant.’

One of the protesters later told a local media outlet: ‘I do understand that Ms. Bryant is in her mid-to-late-80s, but understandably, this is a crime she committed when she was 22. Sixty years later, it’s time for her to be held accountable.’

Donham’s daughter-in-law, Marsha Bryant, said the older woman ‘had nothing to do with it.’ She also claimed her relative was ‘appalled’ by Till’s murder.

‘They think she should die or go to jail forever. They think what happened to Emmett Till should happen to her,’ Marsha told the Clarion Ledger.

On Wednesday, the Lead Counsel for the Black Lawyers for Justice, Malik Shabazz, and other activists stormed a senior living center in search of her.

Shabazz and the group were seen going down a grungy stairwell in the senior living facility, which was not named, to hopefully confront the old woman.

‘We on the move. We don’t know how they’re hiding this white woman down here, they’re hiding Carolyn Bryant Donham,’ Shabazz said in a Facebook Live. ‘They’re calling the police, but we’re on the move. We know she’s in here.’

The group descended on the brightly lit room, where senior citizens sat in wheelchairs and looked confused as the activists – some wearing what appears to be bulletproof vests – entered.

One woman asked, ‘What does she look like?’ when questioned if they knew Donham.

Shabazz said: ‘The false accuser of Emmett Till, the one that said that Emmett Till had sexually assaulted her…she lives in this building.’

The unidentified woman replied: ‘No, honey, she does not live in this facility. She lives in a nursing home, this is not a nursing home.’

The woman went on to say that Donham lives in a nursing home – or so she heard on TV – and dodged answering the question of the exact facility the woman was at.

The group then left the facility through the side door, chanting: ‘No justice, no peace’ and ‘black power.’

The activists also approached two other residences listed under Donham’s name, to tape an ‘eviction notice’ to the front door.

Raleigh police were said to have arrived on the scene minutes after the protesters entered the building, according to The Daily Beast, which caused the facility to go into a brief lockdown.

The activists are still searching for Donham.

The Department of Justice closed Till’s case in December, stating that no further prosecution could take place because federal hate crimes didn’t exist in 1955. It also said the ‘statute of limitations’ for a civil rights case have expired.