The US Department of Justice announced Monday (December 6) that they officially closed the case of Emmett Till‘s murder for a second time, leaving no justice for the family of the 14-year-old brutally murdered more than 65 years ago.
“I pinned diapers on Emmett. I lived with him, he was like a brother to me,” Thelma Wright Edwards, Till’s cousin said following the news of the closed case. “I have no hate in my heart, but I had hoped we could get an apology. But that didn’t happen, nothing was settled. The case is closed, and we have to go on from here.”
The DOJ had reopened the 1955 murder case in 2017 after a bombshell book by professor Timothy Tyson claimed Carolyn Bryant, the white woman who claimed Till had whistled at her, recanted her story. Bryant’s claims that fateful summer had gotten Till dragged out of his uncle’s home in the middle the night, only for his body to be discovered in the Tallahatchie River days later after he was tortured to death.
In their announcement this week, the DOJ said it didn’t find evidence to corroborate Tyson’s book and would therefore close the case again.
“We’re disappointment that no one has paid for the tragic, brutal murder of a 14-year-old boy,” said Marvel Parker, executive director of the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Institute, who is also married to one of Till’s cousins.
“But there’s no hatred in our hearts even, because we believe we what the Lord said to mine: ‘Vengeance is mine,’ he is the righteous judge,” Parker said.
Two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, admitted to the murder months after an all-white jury acquitted the men of the charges, their confession came after they secured protection under the double jeopardy rule. Both the men, have since died, never having spent a day in prison.
Carolyn Bryant also died.
Emmett Till’s memorial has been the site of numerous vandalism –– so much so that a bulletproof placard and alarm system had to be installed along with surveillance cameras near the memorial site.
“We cannot stop even though we don’t feel that we got justice,” Ollie Gordon, another of Till’s cousins, said. “We still must move forward so that these particular hate crimes will not continue to be done and no justice is bound.”
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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