Au­thor of Em­mett Till book gave FBI in­ter­view record­ings

Manteca Bulletin - - Local -

BIRM­ING­HAM, Ala. (AP) — Weeks af­ter he pub­lished a book about the bru­tal slay­ing of Em­mett Till, a North Carolina au­thor re­ceived a call from FBI agents ask­ing about his in­ter­view with a key wit­ness who ac­knowl­edged ly­ing about her in­ter­ac­tions with the black teen.

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.

Hours af­ter news broke Thurs­day about a re­newed in­ves­ti­ga­tion prompted by the book, Tyson told re­porters that he sup­ports a fresh look at “one of the most no­to­ri­ous racial in­ci­dents of racial vi­o­lence in the history of the world,” but doesn’t think his re­search alone will pro­vide enough ev­i­dence for new charges.

“It’s pos­si­ble that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will turn up some­thing. But there’s noth­ing that I know of, and noth­ing in my re­search, that is ac­tion­able, I don’t think,” he said. Still, he said in­ves­ti­ga­tors may be able to link it to other ma­te­rial in their pos­ses­sion.

Tyson’s 2017 book “The Blood of Em­mett Till” quotes a white woman, Carolyn Don­ham, as say­ing dur­ing a 2008 in­ter­view that she wasn’t truth­ful when she tes­ti­fied that the black teen grabbed her, whis­tled and made sex­ual ad­vances at a Mis­sis­sippi store six decades ago.

A fed­eral of­fi­cial fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter told The As­so­ci­ated Press that in­for­ma­tion in the 2017 book was what led fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors to re­ex­am­ine the case. The of­fi­cial wasn’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the mat­ter pub­licly and spoke to AP on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The re­open­ing of the Till case was dis­closed in a fed­eral report sent to law­mak­ers in March that said the Jus­tice De­part­ment had re­ceived un­spec­i­fied “new in­for­ma­tion.” The report’s con­tents weren’t widely known un­til Thurs­day.

The case was closed in 2007, with au­thor­i­ties say­ing the sus­pects were dead.

The pros­e­cu­tor with ju­ris­dic­tion over the Mis­sis­sippi com­mu­nity where Till was ab­ducted, District At­tor­ney De­wayne Richard­son, de­clined to com­ment on whether fed­eral au­thor­i­ties had given him new in­for­ma­tion since they re­opened the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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