Cousin who saw Emmett Till being kidnapped dies at age 74

FILE - This undated file photo shows Emmett Louis Till from Chicago. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were accused of kidnapping, torturing and murdering Till for allegedly whistling at Bryant's wife. The men were later acquitted. Relatives of Till want a new investigation of his 1955 Mississippi slaying following a recent revelation that a key witness, Bryant's wife, known now as Carolyn Donham, may have lied. A new book by Duke University scholar Timothy Tyson quotes Donham as saying she wasn’t telling the truth more than six decades ago when she claimed Till grabbed her and made suggestive comments. (Courtesy of the family of Emmett Till via AP, File)

CHICAGO (AP) – Simeon Wright, who was with his cousin Emmett Till when the Chicago boy was kidnapped and killed in Mississippi in 1955, has died at age 74.

Wright’s cousin, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, said Tuesday that Wright died from cancer on Monday at his Chicago-area home.

Till was kidnapped, tortured and shot after being accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The 14-year-old boy’s death galvanized the civil rights movement when his mother insisted on an open-casket funeral to show the world her son’s mutilated body.

Wright was with Till when he allegedly whistled at the woman and has described being ordered to lie down and go to sleep when men with pistols came into his house to kidnap Till.

The two men were acquitted in Till’s death but later confessed in a magazine interview.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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