NAACP reacts to hate crime pleas in Anderson case - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

NAACP reacts to hate crime pleas in Anderson case

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"Senseless violence should not be tolerated regardless of race. But particularly when individuals are being targeted because of their race, that's a time in history in Mississippi we should move beyond," said Derrick Johnson, MS NAACP President. "Senseless violence should not be tolerated regardless of race. But particularly when individuals are being targeted because of their race, that's a time in history in Mississippi we should move beyond," said Derrick Johnson, MS NAACP President.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's a crime that one judge said put a stain on the state of Mississippi. Now, the NAACP says Tuesday's guilty pleas are a step in the right direction to stop the pattern of hate among the young adults responsible for James Craig Anderson's murder.

"Senseless violence should not be tolerated regardless of race. But particularly when individuals are being targeted because of their race, that's a time in history in Mississippi we should move beyond," said Derrick Johnson, MS NAACP President.

Johnson says there was a time in the state that those responsible for hate crimes like these weren't brought to justice. Therefore, he's pleased to see federal prosecutors actively pursuing the Anderson case.

"As a state we can no longer avoid the questions and issues of race; that is something we must move beyond. We must come together as a state and focus on public policy that improves the quality of life for everyone," explained Johnson.

Jonathan Kyle Gaskamp and William Kirk Montgomery bring the total to five men who have entered guilty pleas for their roles in hate crimes motivated by the victims' race.

"Hoping that this will send a strong message to anyone else who may have been involved in this case or other cases that it will not be tolerated," Johnson voiced.

James Craig Anderson's murder is only one in a string of crimes the group supposedly committed against vulnerable African Americans in Jackson.

"I hope we learn that the taking of an innocent person's life does no one justice. Unfortunately we see young people, their life has now been taken. They will serve a substantial amount of their lives behind bars for a senseless crime," suggested Johnson.

The new guilty pleas could also be beneficial as prosecutors continue to look for others involved in James Craig Anderson's murder.

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