Vigil held in memory of hit and run victim in south Jackson - - Jackson, MS

Vigil held in memory of hit and run victim in south Jackson

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Hundreds of people came together to walk from New Horizon Church to the Metro Inn on Ellis Avenue Sunday evening.  Candles and a wreath were laid at the site where 49 year old James Craig Anderson was beaten and then killed in a hit and run.

"We want to stand up and let the world know, not only will we not tolerate this kind of thing, but we're much better than this," said Bishop Ronnie Crudup with New Horizon Church.

Graphic surveillance video of Anderson's last moments was released last week.  Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith said it was a group of white teens from Rankin County led by 18 year-old Deryl Dedmon that targeted Anderson because of the color of his skin.

"That video became a deposit of hate, deposit of fear and anger in our community," said one of the event organizers Kass Welchlin.

Outraged community leaders organized with help from pastors, priests and rabbis from across the metro area, white and black, to spread a message of peace. 

"It's wrong.  It's wrong in any county.  It's wrong in any state and in any area. Our prayer is that it's over and this generation is going to rise up and say enough," said Sr. Pastor Chip Henderson of Pinelake Church.

Anderson's family was not in attendance, but their attorney said they are pleased to have the community's support.

"They want justice for James Craig Anderson. So if the attention helps bring justice for James Craig Anderson and helps bring light to this problem they are all for it," said Winston Thompson.

Dedmon was charged with murder and is being held at the Hinds County jail on $800,000 bond.  Eight-teen year old John Aaron Rice was charged with simple assault in the case.

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