Community Reacts To Hate Crime Pleadings - - Jackson, MS

Community Reacts To Hate Crime Pleadings

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Three white Brandon men await sentencing, after pleading guilty to hate crimes and conspiracy charges in Jackson.

Deryl Dedmon, John Rice and Dylan Butler all entered pleas in federal court Thursday. 

Prosecutors say these three teens and others, entered into a campaign of hatred for months, assaulting African Americans in west Jackson.

Tonight the communities they lived in, and committed their crimes in are speaking out.

It was just after the murder of James Craig Anderson, that pastor Brian Richardson went public, announcing his family too had been harmed by Deryl Dedmon, one of the teens charged in the hate crime.

Dedmon bullying his son Jordan with derogatory statements, and threats.

Now Richardson is praising those who brought him to justice.

"I think this is giving the rest of the country the opportunity to see that we in Mississippi can get this right" said Pastor Richardson. "It is happening with lightning speed. There just has to be a number of good people behind the scenes that are doing wonderful things for convictions.  I think as far as that's concerned certainly justice for James Craig Anderson is the main thing at the same time it is very sad and very tragic for those young men and for their parents as well."

Robert Langford, Executive Director of Operation Shoestring says the convictions are the first step in helping Jackson heal.

"As the judge said it's a real stain on our community, there's also a tremendous opportunity if were willing, if we have the courage" said Langford. 

The federal investigation is ongoing.

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