City council passes hate crime ordinance to honor James Craig An - - Jackson, MS

City council passes hate crime ordinance to honor James Craig Anderson

James Craig Anderson. Source: WLBT James Craig Anderson. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - On the birthday of James Craig Anderson, the African American man murdered by a group of white teenagers in Jackson, the City Council passed a hate crimes ordinance.

Councilman De'Keither Stamps said he wanted to get in front of hate crimes and the acts of violence need to be documented more thoroughly.

"It's a part of baptizing Mississippi stigma," said Eric Walker from the Fate of Hate Project. "Mississippi is known all across the country for hatred."

Walker has a passion for ridding the world of hate and crimes associated with the violent term. 

"The heart of a hateful person says two things. I am better than you and your destiny is in my control," added Walker. "So, that is inclusive of anybody who feels superior of someone else. We are using our collective voices and we are saying this is where it ends. It's going to stop and end here in Mississippi."

Mississippi has a history of hate crimes including the murders of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers. Council President De'Keither Stamps presented the ordinance ultimately to deepen and broaden the way police investigate, report and record hate crimes. 

"But, when it's determined by a higher level that it's a hate crime, now we document it to a deeper degree," said Stamps. "Retain the information and we put it for further study so we can become proactive. This is doing something about the issue instead of just talking about the issue or marching about the issue. This is doing something."

Now that the legislative branch has approved the hate crime ordinance, the executive branch will have to craft out an actual plan, policy and procedure to put in place.

"Love comes from a genuine place," said Walker. "I think if we work on that and all of our individual lives we can make the world a better place."

According to the FBI's most recent annual hate crime report there were nearly six thousand hate crimes committed in 2013 with four happening in our state.

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