Dozens of protesters in Raleigh hit the streets Wednesday (July 6) in hopes of bringing the woman who served as the catalyst for Emmett Till’s murder to justice.
Two weeks ago, an unserved warrant for Carolyn Bryant Donham was found inside the basement of a Mississippi courthouse. Addressed to “Mrs. Roy Bryant,” the 1955 warrant was found by a team that included members of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, among them, two of Till’s relatives. One of those relatives, Teri Watts, told the AP, “Serve it and charge her. This is what the state of Mississippi needs to go ahead.”
Although experts say it’s unlikely any actions will be taken, the people of Raleigh say otherwise.
WRAL reports that dozens gathered in search of Donham, who is believed to be living in the area. They first traveled to an apartment in North Raleigh, believed to be Donham’s last known address. After that, the group went to a nearby senior facility. Residents looked on in shock as the group marched inside, demanding that Donham face her demons. Raleigh Police arrived at the scene a short time later.
Till, at 14 years old, was abducted and killed in 1955 for allegedly whistling at Donham. Her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, were acquitted of the murder. Donham herself was never brought in, but protesters are saying that her arrest is long overdue.
“You cannot ignore this. That is the reason why the warrant needs to be served, and it will help create change,” said Till’s cousin Priscilla Sterling, who was among the protesters. “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.”