A sign marking the site where Emmett Till’s mutilated body was dredged from the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi more than fifty years ago, was found riddled with some 40 bullet holes last week.
In 1955, Till, a 14-year-old African American boy from Chicago, was brutalized, shot in the head, and dumped in the river, allegedly for flirting with a white woman. Two white men were indicted for the murder, only to be acquitted later by an all-white jury.
Filmmaker Kevin Wilson Jr., who posted a photo of the vandalized sign to Facebook last week, told CNN affiliate WJTV, “That marker was just evidence that there are people who are still living in those areas who still hold those ideologies dear to their heart. Ideology that we’re trying to get away from.”
This is not the first time that signs commemorating Till’s death have been vandalized. In 2006, the Clarion-Ledger reports, vandals painted “KKK” on the Emmett Till Highway sign.
In 2013, journalist Christopher Hooks documented a similar gunshot attack on one of the signs:
Dave Tell, an associate professor at the University Kansas and a member of the Emmett Till Memory Project, told the Clarion-Ledger, “These [signs] are easy targets, a low-risk outlet for racism.”