Vandals obliterate info on Emmett Till marker in Mississippi

Frederick Owens
June 28, 2017

Allan Hammons, whose company manages the Mississippi Freedom Trail where the sign is located, says he does not know if the new vandalism is racially motivated, but adds that it was the only sign on the trail that was defaced.

For the second time, a civil rights memorial sign honoring Emmett Till has been vandalized.

Till was later kidnapped, tortured and killed because of Bryant's accusation by her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half brother J.W. Milam. And then, over the weekend, someone had peeled off the back of the marker, which contained vital photos and information about the infamous 1955 case.

The sign was a part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail which is a series of state-funded markers placed at notable civil rights sites. That's where 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, a White shopkeeper, accused Till of whistling at her while at the store in August 1955.

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Mamie Till Mobley had an open-casket funeral for her son to show how racial terror was use to brutalize and murder her son, who was visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta when the incident happened. The men were acquitted of the crime by an all-white jury, but the incident outraged many in the US and had a direct impact on starting the civil rights movement at the time.

In October, another historical marker where Till's body was found was riddled with bullets. In 2008, Till's accuser told Timothy Tyson, a Duke University professor who wrote the book "The Blood of Emmett Till", that she fabricated significant portions of her story about her interaction with Till. He further confirmed that the marker cost over $8,000 to create and that repairs will cost around $500 or more.

Students from St. Louis put up a temporary fix with their own writings and drawings of Till, Jerry Mitchell of The Clarion-Ledger said on Facebook.

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