(Photos, from left: Deryl Dedmon/ASSOCIATED PRESSAP, James Craig Anderson/Family Photo)
On Wednesday, a Mississippi prosecutor charged during a bond hearing that two white men deliberately committed a hate crime when they ran over a Black man, James Anderson, 49, with their pickup truck.
The incident occurred in Jackson, the state’s largest city, on June 26, and Anderson, who had also been physically assaulted by the duo before they ran him down, died later in a local hospital.
The crime has an awful historical resonance for residents of a state that, during the Civil Rights era and before, had a reputation for violence against Blacks.
During a bond hearing for the accused driver, Deryl Dedmon, the Associated Press reported that Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said, "It was an intentional act and it was a hate crime."
Smith, who is African-American, added that “Dedmon murdered this victim because he was a black man. We do have information that they were rejoicing after killing the victim."
Both Dedmon and John Aaron Rice, who was allegedly in the pickup truck as well, were charged with murder, as well as assault. Both men are 18-years-old.
Dedmon is being held on bail of $800,000. Judge Ali Shamsiddeen, who is African-American, increased it from $50,000 after hearing the alleged hate crime’s details.
The prosecutor told reporters that Dedmon made a phone call after the killing and told a friend, "I just ran that [filtered word] over."