New York City police say a man who traveled there from Baltimore had a longstanding hatred of Black men and it drove him to allegedly stab a homeless African-American man to death Monday night.
James Harris Jackson, 28, surrendered himself to authorities on Tuesday night, a day after Timothy Caughman, 66, staggered into a police station in Midtown Manhattan, having been stabbed in the chest and back. The attack was random, police said. Jackson was charged with second-degree murder, but officials say they want to upgrade it to a hate crime.
Jackson calls himself a White supremacist and told police he came to New York specifically to commit violent acts against Black men. “This subject has been harboring these feelings for quite some time,” NYPD Assistant Chief William Aubry told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday. “It’s been over 10 years that he’s been harboring these feelings toward male blacks.”
He told police that he was a member of a White supremacist group, although it is unclear which one, and showed them his racist ideologies on his laptop computer, according to the New York Daily News.
Aubry said Jackson randomly singled out Caughman for the attack, while the victim was rummaging through garbage. The two men did not know each other. Caughman was taken to a nearby hospital after he went to the police station, but died shortly after. A day later, holding the flier police had put out looking for the suspect in the killing, Jackson walked into a police precinct telling them “I’m the person you’re looking for.”
He told police that he had come to New York to commit the crime because it was the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement.
Jackson is a U.S. Army veteran who was deployed in Afghanistan between December 2010 and November 2011. Caughman was living in transitional housing at the time of his death. He described himself as a “can and bottle recycler” in his Twitter profile and was an active seeker of celebrity autographs and photos with them. But according to police, he had no idea that he would be the target of an attacker, particularly one who sought to kill him because of his skin color.
“Based on statements that he made, the subject as well a preliminary review of video, it reveals that the attack on Timothy Caughman was clearly racially motivated,” Aubry said.