Hate crimes, most notably remembered from the racist rural south, have been gruesomely brought to the 21st century.
CNN has released video and is reporting that on a recent Sunday morning two car loads of white teenagers drove to Jackson, Mississippi, with the intention to find and hurt a Black person. Not only did they find and hurt one, but they killed 49-year-old James Craig Anderson by running him over with a pickup truck. The murder was caught on surveillance video.
On that fateful day, Anderson, an auto plant worker, was standing in a parking lot near his car. The teens allegedly beat him and yelled racial slurs and “white power!” according to witnesses.
A group of teens then climbed into a large, green Ford F250 pickup truck and drove it over Anderson. He died instantly.
The group was led by the owner of the vehicle, 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon Jr., of Brandon, Mississippi. Dedmon took part in the beating and also told friends while partying and drinking miles away that night, “let’s go f*** with some n*****s,” according to law officials.
On the videotape the teens are seen pulling into the parking lot and stopping where Anderson is standing. Though he is not visible on camera, witnesses tell law enforcement officials that this is when the grueling beatings took place. After the beating some of the teens left, but then Anderson becomes visible on the tape and the headlights of the truck surge into his body, running him over and continuing on.
Officials were told that Dedmon laughed about the killing during a phone call to friends where he stated, “I ran that n**** over.”
At 18 years old, Dedmon could face two life sentences. John Aaron Rice, another teen involved in the beating has been charged with simple assault for his partaking in the beating.
Other teens in the group have not been charged.
The family, like so many Americans across the world hearing this news, are shocked. In a world where so much progress has been made, it’s saddening to know that people are still being judged, and killed, for the color of their skin.
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