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Rally to arrest woman connected to the murder of Emmett Till leads to threats

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WTVF) — A threat of violence forced the cancellation of the annual Christmas Parade in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The threat came after several Civil Rights groups planned protests to call attention to the white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, tied to the death of a black teenager in the 1950s, Emmett Till.

The woman accused Till of making advances toward her nearly 70 years ago, allegations that led to the Black teen’s brutal death.

The Bowling Green Police Department and The Warren County Sheriff’s Office have been working hard to find out the origin of a threat. The threat prompted them to send out an Emergency Alert to the community.

Authorities even made a Facebook video letting the Bowling Green community know a threat was made.

Despite the threat, dozens still rallied together.

“We knew we were here for peaceful purposes. So, we’re not afraid to be here and represent what we think is getting justice for the family of Emmett Till,” The Dick Gregory Society’s President and CEO Dr. E. Faye Williams explained.

Till was abducted, tortured, and lynched in Mississippi. His killers were the white woman’s husband and his brother.

The group gathered outside what is believed to be Carolyn Bryant Donham’s apartment in Bowling Green, and a major police presence followed.

The now 88-year-old is known around the world as the woman who had a hand in the brutal murder of Emmett Till.

According to, in 2017, Tim Tyson, author of the book The Blood of Emmett Till, revealed that Carolyn Bryant recanted her testimony, admitting that Till had never touched, threatened or harassed her.

“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” she said.

Earlier this year, a grand jury in Mississippi declined to indict her. They claimed there was insufficient evidence to charge her for kidnapping and manslaughter.

“A little while ago they found a subpoena that was issued for her, but it was never delivered to her in Mississippi. The reason they gave was she had two young boys she had to take care of. They didn’t arrest her or serve the warrant on her,” Dr. Williams explained.

Emmett Till’s cousin Priscilla Sterling was one of the people in attendance. She’s demanding answers.

“The focus here today is about justice. It’s ’bout America, and the laws are not pertaining to white people like they are to Blacks. It’s a double standard when it comes to the laws in the United States,” Till’s cousin Priscilla Sterling said.

Participants in the protest think even decades later, Bryant should pay for her actions.

“We think it’s time for Carolyn Bryant to answer to the justice department or police in Mississippi, wherever it is. She needs to be brought in and questioned and served that subpoena,” Dr. Williams said.

At the rally, there was only one arrest. He was a part of the demonstrations. He had an outstanding warrant from Ohio.

As for the threats, local departments are working with the FBI to investigate.

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