Armed University of Mississippi students gave a pose in front of a memorial to lynched civil rights icon Emmett Till, an “offensive and hurtful” act that led to their fraternity suspending the undergrads, officers stated on Thursday.
Three college students, two of them brandishing weapons, posed in front of the purple sign that marks the place Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River in August 1955.
One of many college students posted the photograph to his private Instagram account in March, based on an article by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica.
Ben LeClere was the Ole Miss student holding a shotgun while his schoolmate John Lowe held up an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica reported. A third fraternity member squatted between them in the photograph and was not recognized.
Ole Miss declined to call the students involved. An e-mail sent to LeClere by NBC News bounced back, and text messages to cell phones related with his family weren’t returned.
Lowe didn’t instantly return a Fb messenger request for remark.
“The chapter has suspended the boys in the picture,” the students’ national fraternity Kappa Alpha order stated in a press release.
“The making of the photograph was unrelated to any event or activity of our chapter. The chapter’s leadership learned of the photograph the late last night. The picture is inappropriate, insensitive, and unacceptable. It doesn’t symbolize our chapter.