A sign on the Mississippi Freedom trail documenting the kidnapping and lynching of Emmett Till has been defaced, obliterating information about the 1955 incident that galvanized a nascent Civil Rights movement, the Associated Press reports.

The marker in Money was scratched with a blunt tool in May. Now vinyl panels containing photos and text about Till have been peeled off the back of the metal marker.

The sign was erected in 2011, the first in a series of state-funded markers at significant civil rights sites.

The damaged sign is near the long-closed Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market, where a 21-year-old white shopkeeper, Carolyn Bryant, said 14-year-old Till whistled at her in August 1955. The teenager was kidnapped, tortured and killed because of her accusation. An all-white jury acquitted Bryant’s husband, Roy Bryant, and his half brother, J.W. Milam, in the killing, but the two men later confessed in a paid interview with Look magazine.


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