Wrongful Death Suit Filed In Mississippi Hate Crime


The brutal beating death of James C. Anderson entered a new chapter today as Mississippi attorney Winston J. Thompson III, in cooperation with the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with the vicious murder.

The civil suit accuses seven white teenagers of intentionally going out in the early morning hours to find and assault a black man. The lawsuit describes how, during the evening of June 25 and into the next morning, the teens were drinking at various points in Rankin County, Mississippi before setting out in two vehicles to find a target.

Anderson became their target. The teens found Anderson in a motel parking lot in Jackson, Mississippi where they brutally beat the man. Then, when Anderson was staggering and barely conscious, one teen ran him over.  During the attack, which was captured on video, one of his attackers shouted “White power!”

According to the lawsuit, the driver of the truck, Deryl Dedmon Jr., reportedly told other teens witnessing the assault that he “ran that n—-r over.” None of the other teens named in the lawsuit attempted to stop the attack, call police or seek medical help for Anderson.

Named as defendants are Dedmon, John Aaron Rice, Sarah Graves, Shelbie Richards, William Kirk Montgomery, John Blaylock and Dylan Butler. The allegations in the suit include battery, negligence, gross negligence and wrongful death.  While family and friends of the teenagers involved deny race played any role (indeed some have even accused the family of “playing the race card”) it is hard to find any other motive, let alone explanation, for such a senseless tragedy.


Related Stories:

White Teens Murder Mississippi Man Because He’s Black

Photo from jamesschiflit via flickr.


Joy Jin
Joy Jin6 years ago

a murder and hate crime.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

I'm confused. Why is it wrongful death instead of murder? It is definitely a hate crime. There is absolutely no other explanation. How can parents defend their children when they do such things? Probably because they were raised to hate people of color and to feel superior. This is 2011, and such things are still going on. Thank god for the Southern Poverty Law Center, the finest group in America, in my estimation (they are included in my will, for the fine work they do).

Erth G.
Erth G.6 years ago

Hate crimes happen for many reasons and not all because of race or gender...but also culture.

I seen some comments leading to hate for white people in this threads because of hate articleslike this targeting certain colors of skin.

This is another way for people to hate without getting their hands dirty and using the press and public to do it instead by inciting others to do thier dirty work.

Face it people it does not matter what color your skin is or what religion you are or where your from and what types of culture you indulge yourself in. Hate comes from all types of people and everywhere...most people decide to keep it inside their own homes or between their close friends and theres others that are sneaky and use others to spread their hatred.

If its about white people you got black people or other types of people bashing with comments....then if its about a black person you got white people and other types of people bashing with comments. There is no we dont do it and they do....your gonna find trash from any culture, skin color, or religion....just that trash finds a way to keep itself hidden and out of sight...but still around to make everything unhealthy around it.

Mari Rhame
Mira Rhame6 years ago

hate crimes ah let's see ...do we hate it when someone drives their car thru traffic at 100 mph? risking everyone's life on the road?
it's just not right to hate, but it is right to talk about it and fess up to the facts that not everyone grows up at the same time, place or reason..
if only the world cared more, did more, understood more, prayed more, thought goodness more, showed more sympathy, etc.
but we are pushed at every level of understanding and get angry faster than we breathe...
it's just so messed up

Ira L.
Ellie L6 years ago


Ira L.
Ellie L6 years ago

GUILTY! The white boys and their parents - teaching them to hate. Think about this in 2012 -- Are THESE the kinds of people you want running your country? Better NOT be, or we're ALL dead!

Rita White
Rita White6 years ago

It is shameful that a crime like this is still happening. The parents of these children need to take a long hard look at theirselves and what they are teaching their children. Children are not born with that kind of hate inside them. A child learns that kind of hate.

Ron S.
Ron S6 years ago

To artillerest s., and Timothy H. I do not understand your indulgence over the use of the confederate flag. It is after all the symbol of a “want to be nation” that advocated the enslavement of people.

What makes you so proud of it?
What does it stand for in your eyes?
Please explain to me your issue with the use of this symbol for this kind of story.

Arika Steele
Arika Steele6 years ago

Thomas M. - Blaming black people for doing the same thing is awful that's not the point at all in this. The fact that a brutal crime like this happened in the first place white or black is the point. You are blinded probably by your own hate. Shame on you!!!

Ron S.
Ron S6 years ago

I agree with Laurie D. These kids were raised on hate. Taught to hate. Feed doses of hate for breakfast, lunch and supper by their “supremest” guardians, and I do not think their guardians should be let off scott free when this is the type of person they have raised. Very sticky subject, I realize. The hate is purposely taught I'm sure. I would like to ask the parents and the community they are from if they are proud of the job they have done in raising these type of citizens. Perhaps they have some old axes or tire irons up in the attic from the “good old days” they could add another “notch” to. I know, make sure that somehow you can save the truck from the crusher and you can showcase it as a type of “trophy”. Wouldn't that just be a hoot? Put it the town square - something you all can be proud of.