James Bradfield cannot sue the men who killed his partner of two decades, and the father of their daughter. James Craig Anderson, a gay Black Mississippi man, was killed in what has been characterized as a racially motivated hit-and-run murder. While the rest of Anderson’s family has sued the group of teens who ran over Anderson, Mississippi law prevents Bradfield from joining in.
Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center has joined Winston Thompson III in filing the lawsuit. He stated “We want to send a message to people who want to use race as a reason to target someone. It appears this group went out to target a black person.” The suit has not specified the amount for the damages. According to one news source “The lawsuit makes public for the first time the names of all seven people who had piled into the two vehicles that night, charging that while some were directly responsible for assaulting and killing Mr. Anderson, others were negligent because they acted as lookouts and did not try to help Mr. Anderson.”
It does not appear that Anderson’s sexual orientation was a factor in the murder. Instead, it appears that the two carloads of teenagers pulled into the parking lot of a motel. Surveillance cameras caught the teens beating and robbing Anderson before they got back into the truck and drove away, hitting Anderson on the way out. One teen is reported to have yelled “white power” and another used the n-word.
Currently, only two of the seven defendants in the suit have been charged in the July murder. Nineteen-year-old Daryl Dedmon faces capital murder charges. The driver of the second vehicle has been charged with assault. The others are suppose to go before a grand jury later this month.