Ole Miss students face possible civil rights investigation after posing with guns at vandalized Emmett Till memorial

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Three University of Mississippi students have been suspended from their fraternity and face a possible civil rights investigation after a photo surfaced showing them posing with guns beside a bullet-pocked and often vandalized historic marker to lynching victim Emmett Till.


The Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting first published a story about it Thursday, saying the image had circulated on the men’s social media accounts.


Ole Miss spokesman Rod Guajardo said the image was reported in March to the university’s Bias Incident Response Team, which takes reports of incidents where students, faculty or staff are targeted because of their race or other characteristics.


Guajardo said university police asked the FBI to investigate, but says the FBI declined to open an inquiry because the photo “did not pose a specific threat.” Brett Carr, a spokesman for the FBI’s Jackson office, declined to comment Thursday.


However, U.S. Attorney Chad Lamar told the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting that the information has been referred to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division for further investigation. “We will be working with them closely,” he said.


While calling the image “offensive and hurtful,” Guajardo said the university hasn’t disciplined the students because the off-campus picture wasn’t part of a university event.







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