A horrific surveillance video surfaced this week of Deryl Dedmon, 18, and several of his friends beating James Anderson, a Black auto worker, and then driving over his body. Now the NAACP is trying to determine if the teens assaulted poor Blacks based on an anonymous report saying that the teens “targeted African-Americans in the city of Jackson who were homeless.”
A police spokeswoman Golendula Green said that detectives have only received “hearsay” in the form of one call saying “white people” were beating up homeless African-Americans. The department could not validate the claims.
"We're all shocked by the allegations. It's uncomfortable, I'm sure, for all of us to know this can happen to a random citizen," Hinds County District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith told ABCNews.com of Anderson’s homicide. "There were racial slurs used throughout the turn of events, which led to the conclusion that it was most likely a hate crime."
Dedmon is currently in jail on a $800,000 bond. He is awaiting a grand jury investigation into Anderson’s death. The teen has also had previous run-ins with the law, including an arrest for making harassing phone calls.
John Rice, a teen involved in the beating was released on $5,000 bail and charged with simple assault.
Prosecutors have not yet determined if the other teens involved in the incident should be charged.
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