James Harris Jackson, 28, right, a white racist accused of fatally stabbing a 66-year-old stranger on a Manhattan street because he was black, appears in Manhattan criminal court with his lawyer, Sanford Talkin, left, in New York, Monday 27 March 2017
(Alec Tabak/The Daily News via AP, Pool)
NEW YORK – A white racist accused of fatally stabbing a 66-year-old stranger on a Manhattan street because he was black, says he had intended it as a “practice run” in a mission to deter gay relationships.
James Harris Jackson, 28, spoke with a journalist for the Daily News in New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex.
He said that he for eyes of a white woman thinking: “Well, if the man feels so strongly about it, maybe I should not do it.”
The victim, Timothy Caughman, who was remembered as a gentleman and a good neighbor, and collecting bottles for recycling last week, when he was attacked from behind with a sword. He staggered, bleeding, in a police station, and later died in a hospital.
Jackson was in court Monday, as prosecutors charged him with murder as an act of terrorism in addition to the murder as a hate crime charge he already faced. Jackson said not a word, and his lawyer had no comment.
Childhood friends from Caughman, who grew up in Queens, attended the hearing and he said that he was a friendly man who didn’t deserve the cruelty.
“Tim Caughman did not deserve to die,” said Portia Clark. “Nobody does it. I mean, come on, we are black, white, yellow, brown — that is ridiculous. We try to get along.”
Carl Nimmons wept outside the court after seeing Jackson. “It really hurts me to see that man, because I can’t do nothing about it. I do not have the power to do something,” he said.
In the interview, Jackson said afterwards, he would have rather killed, “a young thug” or “a successful older black man with blonde hair … people you see in the town. These younger boys that girls on the wrong path.”
He complained that on television, “it’s like every other commercial in the past few years, a mixed-race couple in.”
“The white race is being eroded. … Nobody cares about you. The Chinese do not care about you, the blacks do not care about you,” he said.
Jackson, who was raised in what was described as a churchgoing, liberal family in a suburb of Baltimore, said his ideal society is “1950s America.”
Jackson was in the Army from 2009 to 2012 and worked as an intelligence analyst, the Army said. Deployed in Afghanistan in 2010-11, he earned several medals and attained the rank of specialist.
The military training, Jackson said, helped him with the plan of the bloodshed.
“I had been thinking about it for a long time, for the past few years,” he said. “I thought that I would get shot by the police, the death itself, or end up in jail.”
He is accused of murder as a hate crime.
His lawyer, Sam Talkin, said that if the allegations are anywhere close to the truth, “then we’re going to address the obvious psychological problems that are present in this case.”