The investigation of the horrendous murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till has been re-opened, according to a US Justice Department report to Congress. The report was issued in March and didn’t give much information other than “the department reopened the case “after receiving new information.”
Till’s murder to many was the spark that lit the civil rights movement. He had been falsely accused of whistling and flirting with a white woman, a then-21-year-old Carolyn Bryant in Mississippi. Till was snatched from his Great-Uncle’s home, beaten and shot. An all-white jury acquitted Carolyn Bryant’s husband, Roy, and another man, J.W. Milam, of Emmett’s murder, despite eyewitnesses identifying the defendants.
Till’s mother, Mamie requested that Emmett’s casket to be left open so the world can see what happened to her son. The photos of the open casket and the story of Till’s murder shocked the nation and begin a series of events that kicked off the civil rights movement in 1955.
On her deathbed, Bryant admitted that she lied the incident with Till.