The horrific case of James Craig Anderson has drawn national attention to Mississippi and its history of racial intolerance. The Black gay Mississippi man was killed in an alleged racially motivated beating and hit-and-run murder caught on videotape in June 2010.
New data show that hate crimes have soared in the state but the vast majority of its counties have "failed" to file any reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department, reports the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
Hate crimes in Mississippi rose from two to 11 over the past year, an FBI report released Monday shows. But in Mississippi and nationally, human rights activists say reported numbers of hate crimes are a fraction of reality. ...
Nsombi Lambright, executive director for the Mississippi chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said she also believes the number of hate crimes in Mississippi is much higher than the FBI report suggests. Sometimes victims won't report the crimes "because they are scared of retaliation," she said. "You also have counties that are not reporting the incidents."
Of the 63 participating agencies in Mississippi, Gulfport was the only one to report a hate crime in 2010. More than two-thirds of Mississippi's counties failed to file a report with the Justice Department.
Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, believes the "real level is about 200,000 hate crimes a year."
About 7700 offenses were reported nationwide in 2010 as a result of bias toward race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability, according to the FBI. "47.3 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 20.0 percent were motivated by a religious bias, 19.3 percent were motivated by a sexual orientation bias."
James C. Anderson died on the morning of June 26 in a Jackson motel parking lot. The 48-year-old Anderson had a long-term male partner of almost two decades and they were raising a daughter.
Nineteen-year-old Daryl Dedmon, who was driving the pickup, faces capital murder and hate crime charges and is being held without bond. The white Mississippi teenager charged with capital muder has a hisory of bullying, racial and homophobic intimidation, and is being investigated for allegedly committing other hate violence,
Anderson's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in September against the seven white teenagers that police say were involved in the gruesome crime. Anderson's long-term partner is prevented by Mississippi law and the Defense of Marriage Act from joining the legal action. Anderson's partner was also prevented by Mississippi law from making end of life decisions.
You May Have Missed:
MS Murder Suspect Responsible for More Crimes?
New Developments in Killing of Black Miss. Man
Slain MS Man's Partner CANNOT Join Lawsuit
Family of Mississippi Man Opposes Death Penalty
Death Penalty "Unlikely" in Hit and Run Killing
White Teen Wanted "Revenge" in Hit and Run Killing