Emmett Till slaying: Government reopens investigation, probing 'new information'

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An investigation into the murder of a black teenager who was lynched after allegedly flirting with a white woman in 1955 has been reopened by the federal USA government.

Back in March, the Justice Department told Congress in a report that it had chose to re-launch its investigation following "the discovery of new information".

A federal official says the renewed investigation of the killing of Emmett Till was prompted by a book published previous year that includes a key figure's acknowledgement that she lied about the case.

Four days later, on August 28, 1955, Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, rousted Emmett from his bed in the middle of the night, ordered him into the bed of a pickup and eventually beat him viciously before shooting him in the head. A MS jury acquitted the two men responsible for his murder, and then a while later they confessed to the killing in a magazine.

Weeks after murdering Till, Roy Bryant and Milam were acquitted after a jury deliberation that lasted just one hour.

"Several interested parties" asked the Justice Department in 2004 whether any surviving suspects could be prosecuted, but after reviewing the information available, the department determined that the statute of limitations prevented any federal prosecution, according to the report. Both are now dead.

Parker says the Justice Department hasn't told Till's family anything about the reopened investigation.

Not long after that, Duke University scholar Timothy Tyson said, he turned over interview recordings and other research materials for his 2017 book on the 1955 case that shocked the nation and helped build momentum for the civil rights movement.

Abducted from the home where he was staying, Mr Till was beaten and shot, and his body was found weighted down with a cotton gin fan in the Tallahatchie River.

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Emmett's mother demanded that her son's body be returned to Chicago, where he was put on public display for a viewing.

Donham, however, is still alive and will turn 84 this month. Jackson's slaying was an impetus for the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march later that year.

Donham, then 21 and known as Carolyn Bryant, testified in 1955 as a prospective defence witness in the trial of Bryant and Milam.

"He said, 'How about a date, baby?'" she testified, according to a trial transcript released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation a decade ago.

Moments after pulling away, she said the teenager "caught me at the cash register", grasped her around the waist with both hands and pulled her towards him. The act paves the way for the department to "expeditiously investigate" unsolved pre-1980 civil rights murders.

The woman - Carolyn Bryant - reportedly told her husband and brother that Emmett had groped her, made crude remarks, and wolf-whistled at Carolyn.

Though a judge ruled Carolyn's testimony inadmissible in court, her husband and Milam were quickly acquitted.

When she spoke to Tyson in 2008, she acknowledged that it was "not true" that Emmett had grabbed her or made vulgar remarks. Then she said, nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him. "Can't you take it?" she recalled his saying.

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