Emmett Till replacement memorial will reportedly be bulletproof

A Mississippi memorial to civil rights icon Emmett Till that was riddled with bullet holes will reportedly be replaced with a sign designed to be bulletproof.

The Emmett Till Memorial Commission, which maintains the sign, decided to remove the current 50-pound marker and replace it with a 500-pound steel structure, NBC News reports.

"We’re under no naiveté that this is going to end," the commission’s executive director, Patrick Weems, told NBC News. "The manufacturers said that this is a bulletproof sign. We'll test that theory."

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The commission's plans to replace the sign, which has sat near the site of where 14-year-old Till’s body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River in 1955, comes after three white University of Mississippi students posed next to the current sign with guns.

In the photo posted online earlier this year, the students can be seen holding weapons near the sign, which had multiple bullet holes in it. It is not clear whether the sign, which has been shot multiple times before, was already vandalized or if the men shot it as well. All three students have since been suspended from their fraternity.

“The photo is inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable. It does not represent our chapter,” said Taylor Anderson, president of the school’s Kappa Alpha Order. “We have and will continue to be in communication with our national organization and the University."  

Till’s death was a catalyst for the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and Thursday would have been his 78th birthday.