Did Deryl Dedmon Jr. Kill James Anderson For Being Black Or For Being Gay?

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

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  • Thomas

    Yes, he did.

  • Maddie


  • Maddie

    Maybe he have secret problems with they people

  • Ray

    Ok I’m in Jackson and this is the first I’ve heard of him being gay. What is your source on this?

  • mgreehan

    At the end of the third paragraph, you misspell “Dedmon” as “Demon.”


  • anon

    If he really does get capital punishment, we’ll have to change his name to Deadmon.

  • Kenny

    No matter what the motive was, this kid deserves death.

  • Gay Veteran

    Honestly it’s stories like this that make me believe in the death penalty. Why does Dedmon aka Demon deserve to live? How can a person do such a thing.

    The video of the murder is just disgusting.

  • ewe

    It doesn’t matter if he was killed for being gay or if he was killed for being black. This is a perfect example that they are both the same in the eyes of true bigoted homophobes.

  • ewe

    @Ray: Where is YOUR source he is heterosexual. Get movin. I want proof and i want it from YOU NOW.

  • ewe

    @Ray: I am not in Jackson and i can guarantee none of the perpetrators are openly gay. Do you have any sources that they are homosexual? just askin.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Ray: Ray, just click the link to the direct story from the New York Times. The NYT story reports he was in a 17-year relationship with another man; however, investigators have not made any link to the killing and the victim’s sexual orientation.

    The headline is at odds with the story — not unusual for Queerty. No one, including the vicitm’s partner of 17-years, family or investigators, has suggested that the victim’s sexual orientation had anything to do with the killing.

  • delurker

    I am guessing his blackness was much more apparent to his attackers than his homosexuality.

  • shannon


  • Brian Alexander

    I am 100% against the death penalty.
    Let him live and be punished vs. the easy way out!

  • oldgayvermonter

    I am against the death penalty. That being said…this white trash bunch should be DEAD. No question, no excuse…DEAD. There is even a FB group “Pray for John Aaron Rice” sending good wished his way. White trash all the way. Watch the video in the linked article…DEAD.

  • New Black Woman

    No, he died because he was black–not because he was gay.

    This is my problem with Gay, Inc. and its practitioners. Gay, Inc. has pretty much ignored this story until his sexuality was known. You could have cared less about the dominant racial bigotry bursting at the seams in this case. You could care less if this man died hearing racial slurs being hurled at him. If Gay, Inc. is truly about building alliances among varying oppressed groups, you cannot ignore one form of bigotry while speaking out on another form of hatred.

    This is why Gay, Inc. has failed to build the much-needed partnerships to advance the cause of gay marriage and other equal rights the GLBTQ community is entitled to. Gay, Inc. is dominated by whiteness and racism, thus preventing the movement from see life from the perspective of folks other than white gay, lebsian and bisexuals (I purposefully left off transgender because Gay, Inc. could care less about transgender rights, specifically POC transgender folks).

  • Aiyo

    They called him nigger over and over, not any gay epithets. I think we all know they saw his skin first and not his sexuality.

  • Victoria Hess

    I blaim his parents, his family, his friends, his community, the state of Missippi, the GOP hate machine, the right, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and most of all the CHURCHES! Our savior faught hate, our savior prayed for the souls and the lives of those who killed him. The conservative movement should hide their heads in shame!

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