Emmett Till protestors stormed a senior living facility looking for his accuser, Carolyn Bryant Donham.
On Wednesday, a dozen racial-justice activists arrived at a senior living facility in Raleigh, North Carolina. The group was searching for Donham, hoping that authorities would extradite her to Mississippi to be arrested.
Last month, 67 years after Till’s death, an arrest warrant for Donham was found in a Mississippi court basement. Since the discovery, Till’s family has been pushing for the warrant to be executed, and they’re not alone.
“You cannot ignore this,” Till’s cousin said. “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.”
Protestors have searched two locations so far, looking for Donham. They initially checked out an apartment where Donham was thought to reside before going to the living facility.
Individuals at the facility were shocked to see protestors outside of the building. One resident says the facility was briefly put on lockdown during the protest. Raleigh police arrived within minutes of protestors entering the building.
“I do understand that Ms. Bryant is in her mid-to late-eighties. But understandably, this is a crime she committed when she was 22. Sixty years later, it’s time for her to be held accountable,” one protestor said.
Till’s case was closed in December with no possibility of future prosecution.
“No federal hate crime laws existed in 1955. And the statute of limitations has run on the only civil-rights statutes that were in effect at the time,” the Department of Justice said in a report.
Nevertheless, activists say they will continue to search for Donham.