Calls for 87-year-old woman's arrest after warrant found from infamous 1955 Mississippi hate crime

Carolyn Bryant reportedly contributed to Emmett Till's kidnapping.

Updated: July 7, 2022 - 11:36am

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Activists are issuing growing calls for the arrest of an 87-year-old North Carolina woman after an arrest warrant surfaced in connection with one of the U.S.'s most infamous brutal hate crimes. 

Researchers discovered an arrest warrant for Carolyn Bryant in a Mississippi courthouse basement in June of this year. The warrant, issued in 1955, had apparently never been served. 

Bryant was the white woman who infamously claimed that 14-year-old Emmett Till, visiting Mississippi from Chicago, had accosted her inside her grocery store. Bryant's husband and brother-in-law subsequently kidnapped, tortured and murdered Till before dumping his body in a local river. 

The arrest warrant appears to have never been served against Bryant, but activists, including some of Till's family, are demanding it be executed. 

“You cannot ignore this,” Till’s cousin Priscilla Sterling told local news station WRAL. “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.”

Video of activists roaming around Raleigh searching for Bryant—now Carolyn Durham—circulated on social media this week. 

Till's murderers were ultimately acquitted at trial, though—protected by double jeopardy laws—they eventually went on to admit to, and brag of, the murder.  

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