The government of The United States announced on Monday the closure of an investigation into the racist murder of the African American minor Emmett Till, born in 1955 in the state of Mississippi, in one of the most brutal episodes of racism in the country at that time.
The Department of Justice reported in a statement the end of its investigations about the alleged retraction in his testimony of one of the key witnesses in the case, a white woman named Carolyn Bryant Donham, whose allegations that the minor had sexually harassed her led to Till’s subsequent murder.
Till, 14, of Chicago, Illinois, was visiting family in Mississippi in 1955 when the fatal encounter with Donham occurred. back then 20 years.
Some witnesses indicated that Till whistled at the woman as she left the store she ran with her husband. Donham testified that the minor grabbed his hand, arm and waist, and that he made sexual proposals, while telling him that he had previously been with white women.
As a result of these accusations, the adolescent was kidnapped, tortured and killed by two white men, one of them Donham’s stepbrother, who were later acquitted by a jury composed exclusively of whites.
Till’s killers, now deceased, would later admit to being the perpetrators of the murder in an interview with Look magazine.
The Justice Department opened a first investigation into the case in 2004, but had to close it for not have jurisdiction to file federal charges.
In 2017 he began investigations that have closed this Monday, after a Northwestern University professor, Timothy Tyson, claimed in a book that Donham had retracted his testimony against Till before him.
Specifically, the professor showed the woman a transcript of her 1955 sworn testimony and she replied “that part is not true”.
However, when she was later questioned by the FBI, Donham denied having abjured his statement and it did not provide any additional information to that already known through the previous federal investigation.
The FBI concluded that nor is there enough evidence to prove that Donham lied when he denied that he had retracted to the university professor.
The Justice Department added that, although the teacher assured that he had recorded two interviews with the woman, only gave the FBI a recording, where there was no retractionNor can it be observed in any of the transcripts of the two interviews made by a teacher’s assistant.
The authorities indicated that Tyson also gave inconsistent explanations about the recording That was missing saying that the woman had retracted before he began to record the interview.
The Government added that even if it could prove that the woman abjured her testimony given before a state court in 1955, I couldn’t prosecute her for perjury as it is a state crime and not a federal one.
Officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI met this Monday with relatives of Till to detail the reasons for the closure of the investigation.
At a press conference held by Till’s relatives, the Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr., the victim’s cousin and the last living witness to his abduction, stated that this Monday It is a day the family will never forget.
“For 66 years we have suffered pain, loss … I have suffered tremendously because of the way they portrayed (Till) at that time,” said Parker, who stressed that his cousin was “demonized” by his executioners to show that he deserved what happened to him.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.