A group of white supremists were caught on surveillance footage filming a video at Emmett Till’s memorial site over the weekend. Till’s latest monument, now bulletproof, was re-dedicated only two weeks ago after the first three signs were vandalized.
On Saturday, November 2, seven white nationalists gathered at the site, located at Graball Landing in Sumner, Mississippi at theTallahatchie River, which is where it is believed Till’s 14-year-old body was found in August 1955.
Two members of the group were holding flags largely associated with the League of the South, a white supremacist group that advocates for southern secession and an independent, white-dominated south.
One of the racists could be heard saying on camera, “We are here at the Emmett Till monument that represents the civil rights movement for Blacks. What we want to know is, where are all the white people?”
Once an alarm sounded from the site’s high-tech security system, the group quickly dispersed.
Patrick Weems, the Emmett Till Memorial Commission’s executive director, told CNN the alarm’s purpose is to make visitors aware the site is under surveillance.
“It is motion sensitive and when someone or something is in close proximity to the market, the surveillance comes on with recording and motion and after a certain time the alarm will go off,” explained Benjamin Saulsberry of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center to FOX 13.
Although the hate group’s visit was upsetting, there’s not much can be done to prevent similar instances, as they did not seem to break any laws.
“We are not at a place where we feel the authority to press charges,” said Saulsberry. “From what I understand I don’t think any laws were broken with them convening there. People have the right to publicly assemble anywhere.”
After the video was made public, thousands of donations began flooding into the Emmett Till Memorial Commission.
Since Saturday’s incident, $10,000 donations were submitted, according to USA Today.
“This group came out there to divide us… but they only made our effort stronger," said Weems. "We have had support from all around the country of people helping us out. Every time something like this happens, we get another $10,000 to help us.”
Till’s first plague was dedicated at the site in 2007, but was stolen and thrown into the river where Till’s body had been dumped after he was lynched. The second and third monuments were riddled with bullet holes. The fourth and current plague, two inches thick, weighing over 500 pounds of steel, was rededicated two weeks ago and is now bulletproof.
Till was pulled from the river nearly 65 years ago after he had been kidnapped, tortured and lynched after being accused of grabbing Caroyln Bryant Donham, a white woman. In 2017, Donham confessed to a historian that her allegations against Emmett were false.
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images