James Craig Anderson was a 48-year-old black man who was a few days shy of his 49th birthday. On June 26, 2011, a group of white men and women in Jackson, Mississippi, decided to kill for being African-American.
Before the murder, the white group constantly got together to drive to Jackson to harass the African-American community. They would throw bottles and other objects at any black person. However, their main focus was always on the homeless and those people they thought were either on drugs or under the influence of alcohol. They chose those black people, in particular, to reduce their chances of being identified.
On June 25, 2011, the night before Anderson was murdered, the young white group had been seen drinking at a party. As the group was traveling to Jackson, they spotted Anderson standing outside a hotel by his car. He was quickly targeted and beaten. Deryl Dedmon, a white teen in the group, put his Ford F-250 in reverse and struck Anderson with it, throwing Anderson’s body to the curbside. The group then drove off and left Anderson to die, but not before shouting the words “white power.”
A police investigation later led to prosecutors charging Dedmon with a capital murder. Security cameras at the hotel showed the group attacking Anderson, and Dedmon using his truck to run him over. Dedmon was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences. Ten other people were indicted: six who pled guilty, and the four others are to stand trial.