Following news that three white University of Mississippi students were suspended from their fraternity after a picture of them posing with guns in front of an Emmett Till memorial surfaced on the internet, plans are underway to replace the current sign with a new bulletproof one.
The sign, located where Till’s body was pulled out of the Tallahatchie River in 1955, has been habitually defaced by racist vandals and riddled with bullets since it was erected in 2007, per Complex.
The executive director of the Emmett Till Memorial Commission, Patrick Weems, told CNN that the organization has teamed with Brooklyn’s Lite Brite Neon Studio to design a 600-pound sign made of reinforced steel that will go up in October.
“We won’t stop. There will be another sign up,” the commission’s treasurer, Rev. Willie Williams, told CNN. “This particular area will go forward in the long run. Because this legacy and this story, it’s much bigger than any of us.”
Weems also noted “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.”
Meanwhile, Ole Miss’ spokesperson Rod Guajardo said in a statement to ABC News that the FBI declined to investigate the gun-toting students who posed next to the Till memorial in images shared on social media.
“While the image is offensive, it did not present a violation of university code of conduct,” Guajardo said in a statement. “It occurred off campus and was not part of a university-affiliated event.”
He also stated that the FBI “reported back to UPD that it declined to investigate further because the photo did not pose a specific threat.”
(Photo by AP)