Emmett Till

Emmett Till Historical Marker Vandalized Once Again

Civil rights marker detailing teen's fatal murder repeatedly obliterated by vandals

by Shantell E. Jamison, June 27, 2017

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Emmett Till

A historical marker in Money, Miss., commemorating Emmett Till has been vandalized once again.

NBC reports that information about Till, the Chicago teenager who was brutally kidnapped, beaten and lynched in 1955, was obliterated this time around.

Till, who was 14 at the time, was visiting relatives in Mississippi.

The marker was scratched with a blunt tool in May, and over the past week, a tour group discovered further damage. Vinyl panels containing photos and words about Till had been peeled off the back of the metal marker.

“Who knows what motivates people to do this?” said Allan Hammons, whose public relations firm made the marker. “Vandals have been around since the beginning of time,” he added.

Hammons also said traffic signs are common targets for vandals and shooters in rural areas. In 2011, the sign was erected as part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail, a series of state-funded markers at significant civil rights sites.

The marker stands outside of the location of Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market. That’s where 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, a White shopkeeper, accused Till of whistling at her while at the store in August 1955. As a result, Till was brutalized before being killed.

Bryant’s husband, Roy Bryant, and his half brother, J.W. Milam, were acquitted of the crime by an all-White jury. The two later confessed to the killing in a paid interview published in Look magazine.

A separate marker near where Till’s body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River has been repeatedly shot. It was erected by a private group that has raised money to replace it.

According to Hammons, the Freedom Trail marker commemorating Till cost more than $8,000, and its repairs will cost at least $500.

 

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