Hit-and-Run Caught on Tape; Suspected Hate Crime by Miss. White Teens
New footage obtained by CNN reveals evidence of a fatal hit-and-run incident spurred by racial hate, implicating several white teenagers for the murder of 49-year-old black man James Craig Anderson.
The incident occurred late June in Jackson, Miss. The raw footage shows a group of teens from Rankin County, led by 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon, Jr., pulling into a motel parking lot just off Interstate 20 at around 5 a.m. on June 26, where Anderson, an auto plant worker, just happened to be standing.
Police revealed that Anderson and Dedmon got into an argument, though they are not sure what it was about, WAPT Jackson reported. The teens are captured on the video from the Metro Inn motel walking back and forth to their cars and to the victim, with witnesses stating that it was during this time when they began to beat Anderson.
Through with the assault, the teens proceeded to get into their cars – a white Cherokee SUV and green Ford pickup truck. As one of the teens headed toward his car, he was seen pumping his fist in the air, purportedly shouting, “White power!” according to a motel security guard, CNN reported.
After the white Cherokee drove off, a man who appears to be Anderson finally comes stumbling into view on the motel’s CCTV, toward the headlights of the remaining green pickup truck.
Then, in a shocking turn of events, Dedmon, who was behind the wheel of the truck, hits the gas, jumps the curb, and runs the man over, speeding away afterwards. The man, who was killed instantly, was no longer seen in the video.
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Mississippi officials believe the murder was racially motivated, according to CNN. Reports state that the teens, who were out partying, wanted to find a black man to “mess with.” Anderson, being the first man they saw after driving for 16 miles toward Jackson, ended up being their victim.
Dedmon, the lead perpetrator of the crime, will be indicted for murder and a hate crime. John Aaron Rice, another identified teen, has been charged with assault, having driven away before the time of the fatal hit-and-run. The five others have not yet been charged.
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith told CNN, “This was a crime of hate. Dedmon murdered this man because he was black.”
“They were going out to look for a black victim to assault, and in this case, even kill.”
Smith also shared that the teens remained unremorseful. “[Dedmon] was laughing, laughing about the killing.”
According to those involved, Dedmon purportedly boasted of killing Anderson, calling one of the teens after the incident, saying, “I ran that n***** over.”
Dedmon may face a double life sentence if found guilty. His lawyer, Lee Agnew, believes there is no evidence to support the hate crime accusation.
Anderson’s family remains in shock that the fatal hit-and-run ended up being racially motivated.