Kentucky city cancels Christmas parade amid threats to shoot protesters demanding justice for Emmett Till
Emmett Till

The city of Bowling Green, Kentucky was forced to call off its Christmas parade this year amid threats to kill protesters who were calling for the arrest of the woman whose claims led to the abduction and lynching of Emmett Till in 1955.

As CNN reports, civil rights protesters had been planning to march in Bowling Green because that is the last known listed address for Carolyn Bryant Donham, who nearly 70 years ago accused the 14-year-old Till of whistling at her in a grocery store.

Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower said on Saturday that his office had learned of plans to "to shoot anyone who is protesting" at the Christmas parade, and he said that while "we have not been able to determine the validity of the threat.. we believe it’s important to alert our citizens."

Till became an icon of the Civil Rights movement in the United States after he was abducted, tortured, and killed for his purported transgressions with Donham.

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CNN notes that while Donham was never arrested in connection with Till's murder, "a warrant for her arrest was found earlier this year in a Mississippi courthouse basement," which has led for fresh calls for her to be brought to justice.

No one has been held legally accountable for Till's death, as the men who were charged in his death were acquitted by an all-white jury.