Three Mississippi men who ran down and killed a Black man last June pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes March 22, one day after one of the defendants pleaded guilty to the slaying in state court.
Dylan Butler, 20, Deryl Dedmon, 19, and John Aaron Rice, 19, all of Brandon, Miss., admitted to conspiring to commit and committing a hate crime, as well as to a months-long campaign of terror against Blacks that began in April 2011 and culminated June 26 in the death of James Craig Anderson, a 47-year-old auto plant worker.
“This is really a case about a group of racist thugs who made a sport of targeting vulnerable African Americans in Jackson and attacking them without provocation simply because of the color of their skin,” Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division, said in a statement.
“On a number of occasions they drove around Jackson looking for African-Americans to assault,” Perez continued. “Jackson is a venerable community, however, for these defendants Jackson was ‘Jafrica’ [and] African Americans were subhuman.”
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