PHOTO: Courtesy Matt Dilling and Josh Hartley
Now playing
02:37
Emmett Till memorial to be replaced with bulletproof sign
Tiger crash
PHOTO: KABC
Tiger crash
Now playing
03:38
Video shows Tiger Woods accident scene near Los Angeles
Now playing
03:20
Avlon on Ron Johnson: Hyperpartisan denial is a hell of a drug
PHOTO: KCAL/KCBS
Now playing
01:37
Official details speaking with Woods in moments following accident
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.
PHOTO: Brent Stirton/Getty Images
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.
Now playing
04:34
This is what we learned from Capitol riot hearing
PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
04:54
Ocasio-Cortez rips Democrat's doubts about Biden nominee
Then-President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a Make America Great Again rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2020.
PHOTO: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Then-President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a Make America Great Again rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2020.
Now playing
02:44
What Trump's released tax records mean for DA's criminal case
Now playing
06:49
Here's why Ted Cruz flying to Cancun was *so* bad
From left, President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, bow their heads during a ceremony to honor the 500,000 Americans that died from COVID-19, at the White House, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
From left, President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, bow their heads during a ceremony to honor the 500,000 Americans that died from COVID-19, at the White House, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Now playing
05:45
Biden leads nation in mourning 500,000 US Covid-19 deaths
PHOTO: NASA
Now playing
01:15
Watch the Perseverance rover's first footage of Mars
donald trump juicio politico violencia capitolio presidente eeuu gobierno senado aristegui mexico roberto izurieta republicanos democratas_00002909.png
donald trump juicio politico violencia capitolio presidente eeuu gobierno senado aristegui mexico roberto izurieta republicanos democratas_00002909.png
Now playing
02:48
Supreme Court allows release of Trump tax returns
trump impuestos fiscal nueva york eeuu corte suprema investigacion dusa juan carlos lopez_00021006.png
trump impuestos fiscal nueva york eeuu corte suprema investigacion dusa juan carlos lopez_00021006.png
Now playing
04:06
Trump fires back at Supreme Court ruling in statement
Now playing
02:27
Bash: Cruz looking for Fox News sound bite at Garland hearing
Now playing
04:34
See what has happened to Trump's DC hotel after his loss
Merrick Garland emotional family story obligation vpx_00002927.png
Merrick Garland emotional family story obligation vpx_00002927.png
Now playing
01:16
Merrick Garland was asked why he wants the job. See his emotional response
Medical transporter Adrian Parrilla transports a patient into a COVID-19 unit at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Calif., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. California
PHOTO: Jae C. Hong/AP
Medical transporter Adrian Parrilla transports a patient into a COVID-19 unit at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Calif., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. California's virus cases, infection rates, and hospitalizations have dropped precipitously after reaching record highs in early January. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Now playing
03:47
US passes 500,000 Covid-19 deaths
Hayden A. Smith, 17, is a plane spotter and photographer and took this photo of UAL Flight 328 on Saturday, February 20, as it flew overhead in Aurora, Colorado.
PHOTO: Hayden A. Smith
Hayden A. Smith, 17, is a plane spotter and photographer and took this photo of UAL Flight 328 on Saturday, February 20, as it flew overhead in Aurora, Colorado.
Now playing
02:22
United Airlines pulls Boeing 777s following engine fire
Now playing
01:31
Lara Trump: Donald Trump may run in 2024 and beyond
(CNN) —  

A bullet-riddled memorial sign for Emmett Till at the center of a photo showing three white University of Mississippi students posing with guns is now gone.

It has been vandalized multiple times over the years and, in a few months, the sign will be replaced again – this time with a bulletproof marker.

The sign was placed near the spot where Till’s body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River in 1955. The 14-year-old African American was tortured and killed by two white men after accusations that he flirted with a white woman. His death became an important catalyst in the civil rights movement.

Patrick Weems, the executive director of the Emmett Till Memorial Commission, said the group began to mark every site that was part of Emmett’s story after community leaders offered his family an apology for the first time about 10 years ago.

“For 50 years our community didn’t want to talk about Emmett Till, they just wanted to forget it,” Weems said.

The 50-pound purple marker was removed a few days ago when the commission learned that the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica were publishing a story along with a photo of the three University of Mississippi students, Weems said.

The students have been suspended by their fraternity and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is also reportedly investigating.

It’s not the first time the sign has seen trouble.

The second version of the memorial sign was vandalized in 2016.
PHOTO: Emmett Till Interpretive Center
The second version of the memorial sign was vandalized in 2016.

The first sign went up along the river in 2007 and was stolen the following year. No arrests were ever made. When the marker was replaced, it was riddled with bullet holes. in 2018, a third sign was put up at the site but only 35 days went by before it was shot up again.

The sign will be replaced in October with a nearly 600-pound sign made of reinforced steel, according to Matt Dilling, founder of Lite Brite Neon Studio in Brooklyn who has been working to create the sign.

The new sign is expected to be bulletproof.
PHOTO: Courtesy Matt Dilling and Josh Hartley
The new sign is expected to be bulletproof.

And this time, the sign is expected to be bulletproof.

“We won’t’ stop. There will be another sign up,” said Rev. Willie Williams, the commission’s treasurer. “This particular area will go forward in the long run. Because this legacy and this story, it’s much bigger than any of us.”

The commission is asking local authorities to launch an investigation into the students’ photo. Members said they don’t know whether the students damaged the sign.

As Weems walked around the remote site where the marker once stood on Friday, he said, the vandalized signs have brought him both frustration and hope.

“And the hope is that there are people around this country who care about this story,” Weems said. “That Emmett Till did not die in vain. His mother didn’t allow him to die in vain and we have a sacred oath to make sure that these sites go back up.”

CNN’s Jamiel Lynch and Wes Bruer contributed to this report.