One night while out drinking with his friends, 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon Jr. proclaimed, “Let’s go fuck with some niggers!” So he and his friends piled into his green Ford truck and drove 16 miles to a predominantly black neighborhood just west of Jackson, Mississippi where they found 49-year-old auto plant worker James Craig Anderson standing in a hotel parking lot at 5 a.m.. Dedmon and his pals kicked and punched Anderson while screaming “White Power!” Then Dedmon circled his truck around and ran Anderson over, killing him. What they didn’t know was that a video camera had recorded the entire thing. What we didn’t know was that Anderson was also a gay father.
In addition to being a good cook, a snappy dresser, a gifted gardener and a tenor in his church choir, Anderson had been “helping his partner of 17 years, James Bradfield, raise the 4-year-old relative for whom Mr. Bradfield has legal guardianship,” according to the New York Times.
Anderson’s sexual orientation may not have played a role in his killer’s motives, but authorities have still upgraded Dedmon’s charges from murder to capital murder with the FBI investigating the case as a racially-motivated hate crime. If found guilty, Demon will either get life in prison or the death penalty.
When Dedmon killed Anderson, he not only injured his victim, he also hurt the child, the husband, the family and the community that Anderson left behind. No matter his punishment, Dedmon’s life makes an unworthy trade for the one he took.
Image Via Rod 2.0