Till memorial, others taking security steps amid vandalism

The Associated Press - November 24, 2019 9:58 am

In this Aug. 28, 2015 file photo, the grave marker of Emmett Till has a photo of Till and coins placed on it during a graveside ceremony at the Burr Oak Cemetery marking the 60th anniversary of the murder of Till in Mississippi, in Alsip, Ill. Memorials to Holocaust victims and others dedicated to people of color across the U.S. repeatedly are vandalized, forcing volunteers, cities and universities to spend hundreds of thousands on repairs and security. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

A commission behind a memorial for teenage lynching victim Emmett Till in Mississippi was forced to get a new sign with a bulletproof front and add cameras and alarms after repeated vandalism.

It’s one of numerous monuments to U.S. civil rights figures or events around the country that vandals have attacked through the years, forcing organizations and elected officials to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on repairs and surveillance.

There’s no movement to pass federal protections for such memorials. Advocates of the sites say their only recourse has been to rely on local and state vandalism and hate crime laws to prosecute suspects.

The need for protection came into focus again this month after security cameras captured white nationalists trying to film in front of the new Till memorial sign.

 

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