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3 weeks ago

News Source: cnn.com
The Emmett Till Memorial Where The Frat Students Posed Is Gone. A Bulletproof Sign Will Replace It Soon
emmett memorial sign

The Emmett Till Memorial Where The Frat Students Posed Is Gone. A Bulletproof Sign Will Replace It Soon

(CNN)A bullet-riddled memorial sign for Emmett Till at the center of a photo showing three white University of Mississippi students posing with guns is now gone.

3 college students posed with guns by the Emmett Till memorial. The Justice Department may investigate Patrick Weems, the executive director of the Emmett Till Memorial Commission, said the group began to mark every site that was part of Emmett's story after community leaders offered his family an apology for the first time about 10 years ago. "For 50 years our community didn't want to talk about Emmett Till, they just wanted to forget it," Weems said. The 50-pound purple marker was removed a few days ago when the commission learned that the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica were publishing a story along with a photo of the three University of Mississippi students, Weems said. The students have been suspended by their fraternity and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is also reportedly investigating. It's not the first time the sign has seen trouble.

The new sign is expected to be bulletproof. And this time, the sign is expected to be bulletproof. "We won't' stop. There will be another sign up," said Rev. Willie Williams, the commission's treasurer. "This particular area will go forward in the long run. Because this legacy and this story, it's much bigger than any of us." The commission is asking local authorities to launch an investigation into the students' photo. Members said they don't know whether the students damaged the sign. As Weems walked around the remote site where the marker once stood on Friday, he said, the vandalized signs have brought him both frustration and hope. "And the hope is that there are people around this country who care about this story," Weems said. "That Emmett Till did not die in vain. His mother didn't allow him to die in vain and we have a sacred oath to make sure that these sites go back up."

CNN's Jamiel Lynch and Wes Bruer contributed to this report.