“This was a crime of hate. Dedmon murdered this man because he was black,” said Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith. “The evidence will show that.”
Asked if there could be any doubt whether the intent was to actually hurt and kill a black person, Smith responded: “No doubt about it. They were going out to look for a black victim to assault, and in this case, even kill.”
Dedmon led and instigated the attack from early in the evening, he took part in the beating of Anderson, and Dedmon was also the actual driver of the Ford 250 truck that would serve as the murder weapon, according to officials.
As the teens were partying and drinking miles away from Jackson that night, in largely white Rankin County, Dedmon told friends they should leave, saying “let’s go f*** with some n****rs,” according to law enforcement officials.
Then, the gang of teens climbed into Dedmon’s green truck and a white SUV Cherokee, and drove 16 miles down Interstate 20, to the western edge of Jackson, a predominantly black area.
The teens would have seen Anderson immediately as they exited the highway, as the parking lot where he was standing is just beside the exit ramp.
“This is the first business that you get to coming off the highway and so that was the first person that was out here and vulnerable,” said district attorney Smith.
On the videotape, obtained and reviewed by CNN, the group of teens is seen pulling into the parking lot, and stopping where Anderson is standing, though he is just off camera and not visible.
The teens can then be seen going back and forth between their cars and Anderson. Witnesses told law enforcement officials this is when the repeated beatings of Anderson took place.
Dedmon pummeled Anderson repeatedly as he crumpled to the street, according to officials, though this is not visible in the videotape. Finally, after the beating some of the teens left and some got into the green truck.
At this moment on the video, Anderson becomes visible, as he staggered into view and walked towards the headlights of the truck. The truck suddenly surges ahead, running over Anderson, then continuing at high speed away from the scene.