A historical marker for Emmett Till has been vandalized, less than a year after receiving bullet holes in October.
The marker, which contained information on and pictures of Till, was erected in honor of the black teenager who was kidnapped and lynched in 1955. The Associated Press reports that according to Allan Hammons, whose public relations firm constructed the marker, someone scratched it with a blunt tool in May and now the vinyl panels have been peeled off the back.
“Who knows what motivates people to do this?” Hammons told AP. “Vandals have been around since the beginning of time.”
The metal marker was unveiled in 2011 as a part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail, a series of state-funded markers at significant civil rights site to highlight the state’s African-American history.
The murder of Till further inspired the Civil Rights Movement after Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, held an open-casket funeral for her son in Chicago. She wanted to show how her 14-year-old son had been abused while visiting the Mississippi Delta.
The marker stands within yards of the infamous Bryant’s Grocery Meat Market, where white shopkeeper Carolyn Bryant alleged that Till whistled at her. The teenager was later kidnapped, beaten and killed for allegedly offending Bryant. The 21-year-old’s husband, Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law, J.W. Milan, were acquitted by a white jury in the case of Tull. NBC News reports the two later confessed to the killing in a paid interview with Look magazine.
IN 2008, Carolyn Bryant, now Carolyn Donham, revealed to Duke University scholar Timothy B. Tyson that she falsely testified against Till.
According to Hammons, the Freedom Trail marker cost more than $8,000 and repairs will cost at least $500.