The Emmett Till memorial has been riddled with bullets again – just 35 days after a new sign was erected at the Mississippi site.
The memorial, located near the Tallahatchie River where the slain black teen’s body was found in August 1955, had been destroyed on July 26, the Clarion Ledger first reported.
The mystery vandalism marks the third sign commemorating the murder that was destroyed since it was first put up in 2007.
In 2008, the sign was stolen and in 2016, it was riddled with bullets. Authorities say they have no information about the suspects responsible, even after the incident late last month.
Co-founder of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, Patrick Weems, told the Clarion Ledger the center is ‘committed to seeing the sign replaced.’
Weems said: ‘We have already begun plans to replace the sign and have notified local law enforcement about the vandalism.
‘Our mission is to continue to tell the truth as it concerns the Emmett Till story… we are saddened by these events but are unwavering in our commitment to truth and racial reconciliation.’
The center’s president, Alvin Sykes, said he believes the new sign should stay as it is.
‘The sign going back up is a sign of progress,’ he told the newspaper. ‘The bullets are showing how much further we need to go.’
In August 1955, the 14-year-old Chicago teen had been visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta where witnesses said he whistled at a white woman working behind the counter of a store in the tiny town of Money.
By August 28, he was kidnapped from his uncle’s nearby home – and three days later, his body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River, gruesomely disfigured.
Barbed wire was wrapped around his neck and he was weighted down with a cotton gin fan.
Till’s mother insisted on an open-casket funeral, and Jet magazine published photos of his corpse. It generated outrage that gave momentum to the civil rights movement.
The federal government recently announced it was reopening its investigation into the brutal slaying Till.
The Justice Department told Congress in a report in March it is re-investigating Till’s murder after receiving ‘new information’.
The case was closed in 2007 with authorities saying the suspects were dead; a state grand jury didn’t file any new charges.
The federal report, sent annually to lawmakers under a law that bears Till’s name, does not indicate what the new information might be.
But it was issued following last year’s publication of ‘The Blood of Emmett Till’ – a book that says a key figure in the case acknowledged lying about events preceding the slaying.
The book, by Timothy B Tyson, quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, as acknowledging during a 2008 interview that she wasn’t truthful when she testified that Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances at a store in 1955.