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Husband, child of hate crime victim shut out by Mississippi laws

Husband, child of hate crime victim shut out by Mississippi laws

A Mississippi man will not be allowed to take part in a wrongful death lawsuit of his longtime partner, because the state does not recognize their same-sex relationship.

James Craig Anderson

On June 26, a group of white teens beat and then ran James Craig Anderson over with their truck. A witness said one of the teens shouted out “White Power!” as they drove the truck over Anderson.

Obviously the teens are being charged with a hate crime.

Daryl Dedmon, 19, is one of the teens being charged with the crime after bragging to friends later that night. In his description of the events to his pals, Dedmon used racial slurs. The Southern Poverty Law Center is reportedly working with the family and their lawyer to investigate whether some of the teenagers involved may have ties to a gang with white-supremacist leanings.

And now, Anderson’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the teenagers that police say are responsible for the hate crime.

“After a night of drinking, seven white teenagers … set out on a mission to ‘f— with some n—–s’ in Jackson,” the lawsuit alleges.

“They found Mr. Anderson, a black man, in a parking lot in Jackson. Several teenagers took turns beating him for an extended period of time, and then one of the teenagers drove over Mr. Anderson with a Ford F-250 truck.”

Ironically, under Mississippi law, Anderson’s partner of 17 years – who he was raising a 4-year old daughter with – cannot participate in the lawsuit.

As their laws do not recognize same-sex partnerships, James Bradfield and his daughter will see no justice in the brutal murder of a beloved husband and father.

Although there is currently no indication that Anderson’s sexual orientation was a factor in the crime, the case is an example of the harms that committed LGBT couples and families are vulnerable to.

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