The story reads as one straight out of the 1950s or ‘60s: White vigilantes murder Black man in Jackson, Miss. But, the incident happened in June of this year, belying recent claims that America has outrun its racist history.
According to an Aug. 7 CNN news report, a posse of White teens allegedly hunted for and eventually killed James Craig Anderson, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said in the report that the teens drove to Jackson with the express intent to slay a Black person—any Black person.
Anderson, a 49-year-old autoworker, who was standing in a parking lot, near his car, fit the bill. The teens allegedly beat the victim, screaming racial epithets, according to witnesses. Then, Smith told CNN, one group of the assailants climbed into a large Ford F250 green pickup and drove over Anderson, killing him instantly.
The entire incident—including Anderson’s murder—was caught on tape.
"This was a crime of hate. [The assailants] murdered this man because he was Black," said Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith. "The evidence will show that."