Fatal Hate Crime: The Murder of Timothy Caughman

(Photo: Steven Hirsch/New York Times)

               James Harris Jackson hates black men. The 28-year old white man hates black men so much that on Monday March 20, he killed one. Headed to New York City from Baltimore with the intention of murder, Jackson was unnerved by the number of black men he saw, but chose New York because he knew his homicide would gain most media attention in the city. His weapon of choice was a sword and his victim was 66-year old Timothy Caughman.

               After surrendering to the police, Jackson was charged with second degree murder as a hate crime. He did not plead guilty and shows no remorse for his actions - at the arraignment, Jackson actually appeared bored as his charges were read. His lawyer argues that Jackson is suffering “obvious psychological issues”.

               Confirming his motive for the killing, Jackson told law enforcement, “I’ve hated black men since I was a kid. I’ve had these feelings since I was a young person. I hate black men” He also told detective that this was only supposed to be his first murder of many, that he had intentions to continue killing. Security footage from Jackson’s hotel shows Jackson following a black man. Jackson admits that he was targeting that man, but did not attempt to kill him because there were so many people around.

               Americans are mourning the death of Caughman, as hate crime frequency is increasing across the country. In Queens, Timothy Caughman led the Neighborhood Youth Corps and in his retirement loved reading and giving advice to younger people about how to excel in business. As innocent as one man can be, Caughman’s death is yet another example of how it remains unsafe to be black in America.

Alanna Shingler Staff Reporter