Deryl Dedmon, a white teen who is being charged in the hit-and-run death of a black man in Mississippi, could now face the death penalty in what authorities are calling a hate crime.
Dedmon, 19, was initially charged with murder, but Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith says he has new evidence that shows the victim, 49-year-old James Anderson, was robbed before he was killed, which makes it a capital case, reports CBS affiliate WJTV.
Surveillance video shows the whole scene. The district attorney's office says Dedmon and Rice were with a group of teenagers that morning and went out looking for a random black person to assault. Rice's attorney, Samuel Martin, suggested during a hearing in July that the teens were on a beer run after a night of partying. The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation of the case.
On the night ofJune 26, 2011, in the city of Jackson, Mississippi, James Craig Anderson, age 49 after being brutally beaten was ran over and killed by teen suspect Deryl Dedmon. Authorities say white teens targeted Anderson because he was black.
The distraught family of James Craig Anderson I’m sure has the heartfelt sympathy of many in the Black community and I’m sure some from the White community as well. There are many in the black community who condones and/or use the n-word as if it is cool and chic to do so. They say it is just another word, demonstrating insensitivity and indifference, as to how that word affected the lives of their ancestors.
It may be just another word to those black users who are naïve and foolish enough to believe that, but to the rest of the world—and our beloved ancestors— they know and see that word for what it is. And whenever, you refer to yourself and your race as a n**ger/n**ga there are people more than willing to take you at your word, further illustrating the fact that the Black community’s definition of the n-word isn’t global; in other words Black American users of the n-word are not in touch with reality relative to the significance of the vulgar term.
The suspects use of the n-word relative to the James Anderson incident was above and beyond that of a [racial slur].
The n-word is a weapon and has been for more than 300 plus years. used to mentally enslave a race of people. Members of the New Order National Human Rights Organization gathered at the site where James Craig Anderson, who was black, was run down by a truck belonging to white Rankin County teen Deryl Dedmon.
Dedmon, 19, of Brandon is accused of intentionally running over Anderson, 49, with his green Ford F-250 outside Metro Inn on Ellis Avenue on June 26 in what authorities say was a hate crime.
Shortly thereafter, the charges against Dedmon were upgraded from murder to capital murder.
The rally addressed both civil rights and racial unity.
"If anybody's freedom is at stake, everybody's freedom is at stake," said Francis Sutton of Jackson.
Clarence Bolls, an activist against violence and crime in Jackson, said people of every race need to look inside themselves for the answer to hate crimes and crime in general.
Rose, the New Order National Human Rights Organization's leader, said employees of Metro Inn have been harassed by people using the phrase, "White power."
Pastor Ben Evans of Georgia offered a prayer for Anderson's family as well as for "freedom fighters," politicians, and the media, asking that God's justice be done.