With the public outraged, the two men went on trial where they confessed to beating the boy, but not murdering him. The all white jury acquitted the men just an hour later.
Emmett's body was shipped back to Chicago with instructions not to open. Mamie Till knew that this was an opportunity to spark public outrage thus sparking the Civil Rights Movement. Mamie decided to have an open casket.
Emmett's disfigured body was on display for all to view, sparking outrage and protests among many Northerners.