The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Alleged Killer in Mississippi Hate Crime was ‘Good Boy,’ Says Uncle

By Hatewatch Staff on August 9, 2011 - 5:18 pm, Posted in Anti-Black

The horrifying – and apparently racially motivated – random killing of a black man in Jackson, Miss., in late June is gaining national attention after CNN obtained motel surveillance video of white teens running over the man with a large pickup truck.

Prosecutors have charged 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon with murder in the killing of James Craig Anderson, 49.  John A. Rice, 18, is charged with simple assault.

Dedmon allegedly was the ringleader of two carloads of white teens who, after a night of drinking, drove from mostly white Rankin County to Jackson 16 miles away, looking for a black person. Prosecutors allege that Dedmon suggested they “go fuck with some niggers.”

It was about 5 a.m. on Sunday, June 26, when they found Anderson, who worked at a local automobile plant, in a motel parking lot near the interstate.

Yelling “white power” and various racial slurs, the teens brutally beat Anderson.  One group of teens left in an SUV, but another group, believed to be driven by Dedmon, got into a Ford F250 pickup truck and ran over Anderson, killing him instantly.

After the murder, Dedmon allegedly said in a cell phone call, “I ran that nigger over.” Prosecutors say he laughed about it.

“A good boy,” is how Ray Dedmon described his nephew, a slight, blond teen, in an interview with The New York Times. Ray Dedmon told the Times that his nephew comes from a “happy-go-lucky” family.

“He probably just got with the wrong crowd.”

The Hinds County, Miss., district attorney said that Dedmon and his friends had a history of “harassing white teens that had black friends or gay teens.”

On a Facebook page set up by Rice’s supporters, his great aunt posted: “He is not a racist or a murderer. If anything, he is being tried by the media, suffering from reverse racism and placed in jail without bond. I am sick of the race card.”

Apparently, Rice’s family members are not the only ones to share these sentiments. The white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (the reincarnation of the old White Citizens Councils) called the story a “sickening double standard.”

“Every single day white people are murdered by blacks,” one post notes. “On the other hand, white on black violent crime is extremely rare.” The CCC described CNN and other news outlets as “gleefully reporting” the murder and that “the media is thankful for the crime.”

Anderson’s murder is chillingly reminiscent of other high-profile hate crimes involving gangs of youths motivated by racism. In November 2008, a group of seven teens in Suffolk County, N.Y., decided to go “beaner jumping,” one of many such expeditions. The group randomly spotted a 38-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant, Marcelo Lucero, and beat him while uttering racial slurs. One of the teens pulled out a knife and stabbed him to death.

  • hch

    Ya’ll are all idiots. Mississippi is not a racist state! I live in Tupelo (but from rankin county) and I am by no means racist. I know all of the people involved personally and they went to church and had black friends. I used to go to church with dedmon’s family in Brandon before I moved from rankin county. They got drunk alot and made stupid decisions (as most people do) but John Aaron Rice is one of the sweetest guys I know. He will do anything for anyone, but he also made a dumb decision. I’m not trying to excuse any of this by no means, but everyone on here is saying that mississippi is a racist state and I just figured I’d let ya’ll know that we’re not all racists. Actually, there are a lot of us that aren’t racist. I dont mean to make anyone mad or step on any toes by saying anything in my comment so please don’t bash anything I have said just because it may be different from your views, but I love where I’m from and everyone here. God bless each and every one of you and have a blessed life(:

  • Meh

    ”He is not a racist or a murderer. If anything, he is being tried by the media, suffering from reverse racism and placed in jail without bond. I am sick of the race card.”

    LMFAO. Kid admitted to going out to ”fuck with niggers” Kid shouted ” White power ” and admited to doing so. Kid admitted to killing the victim because he was black. Kid admitted to multiple other racial reasons to do this and yet his great aunt is convinced that somehow he is not a racist? He killed an innocent man and she is convinced he is not a murderer? What kind of wacky white scummy family the Dedmons are. And that part about the race card… what?

  • John

    You know what strikes me here? The simple fact that racial division has been and still is a tool, or diversion to keep the average American worrying about something other than being taken to the cleaners by the “ruling elite”.

    Slave owners made sure that their slaves were thought less than human, in order to validate slavery; after emancipation this coercion continued, as to keep the majority of power in the southern government in the hands of the big landowners, keeping all those “poor working whites” worried about a host of red herrings, not on who was really sticking it to them. Unfortunately we have been told that this has ended, but maybe not. Once again for all the haters you are being used as a tool to keep the focus off of general inequity in the system.

  • james

    This young Southern Confederate Taliban deserves to die like any other terrorist ( Confederate Taliban ). Confederate Taliban has gotten away with too much in the past they should be excuted just as a Muslum Terrorist. This country need to get rid of all terrorist including Urban Taliban ( City Gang Member ). The one thing about Confederate Taliban they target minorites only when, that person is out number or alone, minorities need to start packing some major heat nothing under a 40 cal.

  • V. A. B.

    It may be that I come from a generation closer to the alleged attacker than the victim but I have closely associated my knowledge and studies with the civil rights and human rights movement working for better race relations and gay rights. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said after the execution of Troy Davis on September 21st that “what begins as justice often ends in revenge.” And this may be the case in demanding the life of this young man’s for the victim. Sentencing the boy to death does not erase the problem. The problem must be embraced and fixed through rehabilitation, cultural integration, and social reform not taking out the racists because it only means that they will continue with a vengence in secrecy. The question is the parenting and the environment in which these teens were raised. How is it that young people can be defended as good and they commit such heinous actions ‘for fun’ as most hate crimes do begin (typically young white men who are actually just doing stupid things for fun and not for trouble). Whether you prefer the peaceful, nonviolent civil protest of Dr. Martin Luther King and Ghandi or the forceful change of Malcolm X. You must remember that we as a people (of all colors) must come together to take back our society from corrupt politicians and broken social systems.

  • james

    White American all ways talk about Islamic Terrorist, in this country we have Confederate Talibans a terrorist is a terrorist even if you are a good o boy ( Confederate Taliban ).

  • truth is

    RIP. catch me in Rankin county, on the job or off the job,minority appearance,light brown skin, plain clothes,and violent bigots try to take my life that way, except out comes my Glock 23, all of my attackers are hit with 2-3 hollowtips in their center of masses, they either bleed to death or get rushed to ER to see if doctors can get save their worthless lives.i wish i had of been there to save this innocent guy’s life.

    FBI doesn’t play games

  • truth is

    Rest in peace. I hope his killers get the death penalty. Those teens were raised to be violent bigots by their racists community. In places like Mississippi there is only 1 thing that racists respect, a person of color who fights back. Would’ve been a different outcome that night if that black guy pulled out a 40 cal Ruger and put 2 rounds in all of those violent bigots’ faces. Too bad he wasn’t armed. I wish his family the best.