Two white teens were arrested Tuesday for killing a Black man in a crime that was shades of the Jim Crow era in Jackson, Miss.
The Black man, James C. Anderson, was run over by a truck and beaten to death by the teens who yelled racial slurs. Police have arrested 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon and 18-year-old John Rice after reviewing surveillance footage that captured the incident.
Anderson was the target of the crazed teens from a white town who wanted to do harm to Black person.
The incident occurred on the morning of June 26, when two carloads of teenagers got off the interstate and drove to a motel parking lot. The white teenagers jumped from their vehicle as Anderson tripped, and Dedmon and Rice then ran their Ford F20 pickup truck over Anderson.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Reports indicate that the incident was taped and the Jackson Police Department is reviewing the footage.
A witness who saw the assault said that the teens were yelling “white power” while they beat Anderson, and others have said they bragged about the beating.
Dedmon’s bond was set at only $50,000, because, as the judge explained, not all of the details of the attack were available at the time of the initial hearing. Rice was initially charged with murder, but a judge reduced the charge to assault.
“This is the first business that you get to coming off the highway, and so that was the first person that was out here and vulnerable,” said Hinds County D.A. Robert Shuler Smith in a report. “These teens have a history of harassing white teens who had Black friends or gay teens.”
Jackson Branch NAACP President Wayne McDaniels said that the organization has been in contact with the family and that the branch of the over 100-year-old civil rights group is keeping a close watch on how the case is handled.
“We’re taking a watchful eye and staying in touch with the attorney and the family,” McDaniels said to the Jackson Advocate newspaper. “We’re concerned about this being a hate crime, but we also need to exert some energy on Black-on-Black crime. We can’t only become outraged when a white person kills a Black person. Self-hate is killing whole communities. We have to address violent crime across the board.”