New details are emerging of the alleged racially motivated murder of Jackson, Miss., resident James Craig Anderson, ColorLines reports.
His family, who has remained silent until recently to avoid media and political scrutiny, has described him as a gifted gardener and talented member of his church choir. They say he was raising a 4-year-old girl with his partner, James Bradfield.
Anderson was violently attacked and then run over by a group of white teens. Deryl Dedmon 19, is facing capital murder charges in the case. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Witnesses told police that one teenager involved in the attack yelled "White power" and that Dedmon used a racial slur when he bragged about running Anderson over later that night.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is reportedly working with the family and their lawyer to investigate whether some of the teenagers involved may have ties to a gang with white-supremacist leanings.
If Dedmon, who's currently being held in isolation, is successfully prosecuted with a hate crime, it will be a first under the state's 1994 hate crime law. If the allegations are true, it's hard to imagine a more appropriate case.
In other news: VIDEO: Sapphire Talks Racism in the Arts.