Emmett Till historical marker in Mississippi vandalized

A civil rights historical marker in Mississippi showing information about Emmett Till was vandalized, a public relations official said Monday.

Allan Hammons, whose public relations firm made the marker, said that someone scratched the marker with a blunt tool in May. During the past week, a tour group discovered vinyl panels had been peeled off the back of the metal marker in Money. The panels contained photos and words about Till.

The damaged sign is outside a former market where a 21-year-old shopkeeper, Carolyn Bryant, accused Till of whistling at her in August 1955. The teenager was kidnapped, tortured and killed because of the 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.

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

"Who knows what motivates people to do this?" Hammons said. “Vandals have been around since the beginning of time”

The Freedom Trail marker in Money cost more than $8,000, and repairs will cost at least $500, Hammons added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.