A man who traveled from Baltimore specifically to commit hate crimes against Black men has expressed some frighteningly racist sentiments on his intentions and exactly how much damage he intended to do when he fatally stabbed a homeless man in New York City. In fact, he’s had it on his mind for a long time.
James Harris Jackson, 28, an Army veteran who had been deployed in Afghanistan, is charged with murder as a hate crime in the slaying of Timothy Caughman, 66, who was rummaging through garbage when he was attacked last Monday in Manhattan. Caughman stumbled into a nearby police station, collapsed and died soon after. Jackson turned himself in to police a day later and confessed the crime.
In a jailhouse interview with the New York Daily News, Jackson further admitted his violent racist fantasy about killing Black men who date White women. He also talked about how spilling the blood of Black men would make White women turn away from interracial relationships.
“The White race is being eroded. … No one cares about you. The Chinese don’t care about you, the Blacks don’t care about you,” he told the Daily News, not unlike the sentiments of another racist killer, Dylann Roof, who attacked nine people in a Charleston, S.C., church. He also harbored violent racist sentiments and even wrote about them in online message boards.
He described being raised by a liberal family in Maryland and said his grandfather was “pro-integration” and had crosses burned on his front lawn in Louisiana. But Jackson said he’s had racist thoughts in his head since he was 3 years old. Like Roof, he found an online community to share them with. Later he joined the Army and became a decorated soldier, but he said it only helped him advance his plan to kill Black men. “I had been thinking about it for a long time, for the past couple of years,” Jackson said. “I figured I would end up getting shot by police, kill myself, or end up in jail.”
Police say Jackson came to New York and picked a midtown Manhattan hotel to stay in. The area, he thought, would maximize his exposure to the media. He stalked one Black man, but wound up not attacking him. But he zeroed in on Caughman, who was unaware he was about to be attacked, and plunged an 18-inch blade into his back.
He told the Daily News that the killing was a “practice run” for more violence. He expressed regret for killing Caughman because he “didn’t know he was elderly.” He would have preferred what he called a “young thug,” or “a successful older Black man with blondes … people you see in Midtown. These younger guys that put White girls on the wrong path.”
Jackson is housed in New York’s notorious Rikers Island where, to his shock, 55% of the inmate population is Black. “I thought it would be 40% White, 40% Black, 20% Hispanic … I didn’t expect so many would be Black,” he said.