The U.S. government has reopened an investigation into the 1955 killing of black teenager Emmett Till in MS, saying it had discovered new information in the case, which helped spark the nation's civil rights movement.
That's the murder of then 14-year-old Emmett Till.
The Justice Department report, which was issued in March, does not indicate what the new information might be, but it comes after the publication of a book past year, "The Blood of Emmett Till", by Duke University professor Timothy B. Tyson.
An explosive new book by Timothy B. Tyson called "The Blood of Emmett Till" came out a year ago and alleges that Carolyn Donham, the white woman at the center of the case, admitted to lying about the events leading up to the murder. The Chicago teenager was visiting relatives in MS when 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, accused him of making a pass at her in the small-town grocery store she and her husband owned. Though the two white men who were accused of murdering Till were eventually acquitted by an all-white jury, the white woman who first accused Till of whistling at her later admitted that she hadn't told the full truth.
Later, Roy Bryant and Milam told a magazine how they killed Emmett and dumped his body in the Tallahatchie, but because of double jeopardy laws, they couldn't be tried again.
District Attorney Dewayne Richardson declined comment Thursday on any role he might have in the case.
Till's remains were returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket. "Can't you take it?" she recalled his saying. In a book published by historian Timothy B. Tyson, Bryant said she's fuzzy on the details. Relatives of Till pushed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reopen the case a year ago after publication of the book.
Deborah Watts, cousin of Emmett Till, says all the family has ever wanted was justice and hope for a better tomorrow.
Donham, who turns 84 this month, now lives in North Carolina, AP reported. Jackson's slaying was an impetus for the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march later that year.
CHANG: What do you make of the Department of Justice reopening this investigation?
Donham, then 21 and known as Carolyn Bryant, testified in 1955 as a prospective defense witness in the trial of Bryant and Milam. When Donham had testified in the Till case she said that the teen Till grabbed her and verbally threatened her. I don't know what's - we don't know.
The jurists deliberated for less than an hour and went on to issue a "not guilty" verdict, acquitting the two men in Emmett's slaying.
According to History, author Tim Tyson - who wrote 2017's "The Blood of Emmett Till" - wrote that Carolyn Bryant later recanted her testimony, and said that young Emmett had never touched, harassed, or threatened her at all.
The woman - Carolyn Bryant - reportedly told her husband and brother that Emmett had groped her, made crude remarks, and wolf-whistled at Carolyn.