THE US federal government has reopened its investigation into the death of Emmett Till, the black 14-year-old whose brutal killing shocked the world and helped inspire the civil rights movement.

The justice department told Congress in a report in March that it is re-examining Emmett’s killing in Money, Mississippi, in 1955 after receiving “new information”.

Abducted from the home where he was staying, Emmett was beaten and shot. Images of his mutilated body in a coffin sparked outrage and helped build momentum for subsequent civil rights campaigns.

The new federal report does not indicate what the new information might be but followed the publication of book, The Blood Of Emmett Till, last year.

Author Timothy B Tyson quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, as acknowledging during a 2008 interview that she was not truthful when she gave evidence that Emmett grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances at a store.

Two white men – Donham’s then-husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother JW Milam – were charged with murder but acquitted over the killing of Emmett, who was from Chicago but had been staying with relatives at the time.

The men, both now dead, later confessed to murder in a magazine interview, but were not retried.

Donham has given no comment.