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The Murder And Trial Of Emmett Till

1964 words - 8 pages

“Violence never really deals with the basic evil of the situation. Violence may murder the murderer, but it doesn’t murder murder. Violence may murder the liar, but it doesn’t murder lie; it doesn’t establish truth. Violence may even murder the dishonest man, but it doesn’t murder dishonesty. Violence may go to the point of murdering the hater, but it doesn’t murder hate. It may increase hate. It is always a descending spiral leading nowhere. This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the universe. It doesn’t solve any problems.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. (Directly quoted from page 2 of “Quotes About Civil Rights Movement”.) Fourteen year old Emmett Louis Till, was murdered while visiting with relatives in Money, Mississippi. The young boy allegedly flirted with a white sales clerk. Not only was the nation’s reaction, and the bias of the courtroom turbulent factors in the civil rights movement, but the brutality of his murder played a major role as well.
On August 24th, Emmett Till and Carolyn Bryant had their infamous encounter inside Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market. Bryant claims that Till made several sexual advances toward her. There are numerous different accounts of what really happened on that fateful. Some say he whistled at her, while others say he was simply whistling. Till had a stutter and would sometimes whistle to mask it. He especially had trouble pronouncing b’s like in the word bubble gum, which he was purchasing at the time of the incident. Bryant also claims that Till grabbed her hand while she was stocking shelves. After freeing herself she went to the cash register, where he pursued and

grabbed her waist. Bryant reported that after she freed herself a second time, he continued making sexual and vulgar remarks towards her. (Linder)
Whether what Bryant said was true or not cannot be confirmed, but in either instance, she was so unsettled that she went out to her car and retrieved a pistol. While walking out, Emmett wolf whistled at her. He and his cousins fled at this point, knowing that Till had just broken a long standing social code.
Carolyn Bryant’s husband Roy Bryant had been in Texas, where he had been shrimp fishing when Till and Bryant had their “encounter”. Such an event was absolutely foreign to the people of Mississippi, and soon became the talk of the town. Because it was such a popular topic, it wasn’t long before Roy found out when he returned a few days later.
One day later, Roy and his half brother J.W. Milam set out to teach till a lesson. They kidnapped and brutally murdered Till. (Crowe) Bryant and Milam threw Till into the back of their truck and drove him to a barn where they beat, whipped and tortured the fourteen year old boy to the extent that his own mother couldn’t recognize his mutilated face. (Cozzens) Willie Louis was a key witness in the case, he testified that he heard someone screaming, and praying for his life from a barn the night...

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