Timothy Caughman described himself on Twitter as a can and bottle recycler, an autograph collector, and a great businessman. The 66-year-old had a knack for recognizing celebrities on the streets of New York, and managed to get stars like Oprah and Wyclef Jean to pose with him in selfies. He wrote optimistic messages to his favourite performers, typically simply to inform them that he hoped they’d have a great day. On Nov. 8, 2016, he posted a picture of himself standing in line to vote, wearing a thick brown sweater and a baseball hat.
“I like america,” he wrote.
A number of months later, Caughman was useless.
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On March 20, 2017, he was fatally stabbed close to Occasions Sq. in a random assault that originally had no clear motive. Then, a little bit greater than 24 hours later, James Harris Jackson, now 30, walked into the New York Police Division’s Occasions Sq. substation, telling officers, “I’m the particular person you’re searching for.” Quickly afterward, police introduced that the assault seemed to be racially motivated.
— timothy caughman (@timrock715) August 16, 2012
On Thursday, tapes of Jackson’s confession had been proven in courtroom as a part of a pretrial listening to. The movies confirmed that Jackson informed police he had been motivated to kill black males due to his intense hatred of interracial relationship, in accordance with the New York Every day Information. He mentioned he thought of the stabbing to be “follow” for future murders, wherein he would goal “particularly black males with white ladies.”
“I imply, that’s the crux of the principle drawback, for me,” he mentioned, in accordance with the Every day Information.
Police had beforehand informed reporters that Jackson had traveled from Baltimore to New York on a Bolt Bus in March 2017 and stayed at a resort in midtown Manhattan for a number of days earlier than he started wandering across the metropolis. In his taped confession, Jackson defined to police that he had been trying to find black males who had been strolling round in public with white ladies, the Every day Information reported on Thursday. He mentioned that he had stalked 15 teams of individuals searching for a sufferer, looking for a goal “with no witnesses, 100 toes on both sides.”
In the course of the police interview, Jackson was calm and “nearly nonchalant-sounding” as he reenacted the stabbing, the New York Occasions reported. He mentioned that he had noticed Caughman sorting by means of the trash for recyclables, and stabbed him a number of instances with a Roman brief sword that he had tucked right into a scabbard and hidden in his pants. One of many detectives requested Jackson if he felt regret.
“No,” Jackson mentioned, in accordance with the Occasions. “He’s a homeless black man.”
Jackson has been charged with first-degree homicide as an act of terrorism, second-degree homicide as an act of terrorism, and second-degree homicide as a hate crime. He additionally has been indicted on a number of weapons possession costs. After confessing to police and to the New York Every day Information in a jailhouse interview on March 26, Jackson pleaded not responsible to the fees in April 2017. His legal professional informed the New York Publish in January that the case was “crying out for decision” and that there had been speak of a plea deal.
If convicted, Jackson faces life in jail with out parole.
Jackson, who was 28 on the time of the assault, was raised in Towson, Md., the Baltimore Solar reported. He attended Pals College of Baltimore, a personal Quaker faculty that preaches equality and nonviolence. After graduating, he joined the army as an alternative of going to varsity.
Officers informed The Washington Publish in March 2017 that Jackson had spent three years within the Military, and deployed to Afghanistan between December 2010 and November 2011. He left the service in August 2012, having achieved the rank of specialist.
Chatting with the New York Every day Information from Rikers Island six days after the homicide final yr, Jackson mentioned that his household was “as liberal as they arrive . . . typical liberal Democrats.” He recalled that his grandfather, who lived in Louisiana, had crosses burned on his garden as a result of he supported integration.
He informed the Every day Information that he had his first racist thought when he was 3. As he grew older, Jackson started frequenting neo-Nazi websites just like the Every day Stormer, renouncing the liberal values that his lecturers and members of the family had preached.
“I assume it’s like something — if one thing will get pushed on you an excessive amount of, you reject it,” he mentioned.
Jackson expressed the assumption that “the white race is being eroded,” and complained that “each different business up to now few years has a mixed-race couple in it.” He additionally mentioned that he had voted for former president Barack Obama, who he described as one of many few mixed-race individuals who he might respect.
Within the Every day Information interview, he defined that he had hoped white ladies would rethink relationship black males as soon as they noticed how strongly he felt about interracial relationships. He additionally mentioned that he regretted selecting Caughman at random, as a result of he would have most popular to kill “a younger thug” or “a profitable older black man.”
On the Saturday evening after the slaying, nearly 100 individuals gathered for a vigil within the Baltimore neighborhood the place Jackson had most not too long ago lived. The aim, residents informed reporters, was to honor Caughman’s life and repudiate Jackson’s racist beliefs. In the meantime, a makeshift shrine appeared close to the road nook the place Caughman was killed, and strangers left brightly coloured deli flowers and tall glass prayer candles in tribute. New York Mayor Invoice de Blasio spoke at Caughman’s funeral on April 1, 2017, and a whole bunch of New Yorkers rallied final yr in Union Sq. in his reminiscence.
“No person cares about him,” Jackson mentioned of Caughman within the taped police interview. He was unsuitable.