A memorial sign that marks the location where Emmett Till’s brutalized body was discovered in a Mississippi river in 1955 was found riddled with bullet holes, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the report, it is not the first time that the sign has been vandalized since it was put in place in 2007. Till’s Aug. 28, 1955, murder rocked the nation and sparked the civil rights movement. The 14-year-old from Chicago was kidnapped, tortured and killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman while visiting relatives down South. The Emmett Till Memorial Commission put up eight site markers at important locations, including the sign that was damaged.
According to the Daily News, filmmaker Kevin Wilson Jr. posted a photo showing the sign riddled with approximately 50 bullet holes.
A second photo posted by Wilson showed another site marker near the home of J.W. Milam, one of the men responsible for Till’s murder. That marker was “preserved and adorned with flowers,” Wilson noted.
According to the report, some of the bullet holes found near the river site are not new. A photo posted by writer Christopher Hooks in 2013 shows that the sign had been shot quite a few times from different angles at that time.
“It shows that there’s still people who do not want to remember or talk about Emmett Till,” Patrick Weems, project coordinator for the Emmett Till Memorial Commission, told the Daily News.
Weems told the Daily News that the organization, which is financially struggling, cannot afford to replace the vandalized sign at the moment and that it has instead launched a virtual tour of the sites in the form of the Emmett Till Memory Project. The project, which is a site and smartphone app, virtually guides users to 51 different sites in and around the Mississippi Delta that are linked to the teen’s murder and trial.
According to the Daily News, the Emmett Till Interpretive Center is currently trying to raise money to fund the project and replace the vandalized sign; so far it has raised $4,000 of its $15,000 goal.
Read more at the New York Daily News.