A white supremacist who claimed responsibility for killing an elderly black man is facing charges of terrorism. Describing the murder as a "trial run", Jackson revealed that he had plans to commit numerous similar attacks on black men, in the hopes of making a statement against interracial relationships.
During his indictment at the New York State Supreme Court on 27 March, army veteran James Harris Jackson was charged with one count each of murder in the first and second degrees as an act of terrorism. Manhattan prosecutors had previously accused him of murder as a hate crime. Jackson is set to attend an arraignment on the indictment on 13 April.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, the 28-year-old Baltimore resident recalled how he travelled to New York to target black men. On the night on 22 March, Jackson attacked 66-year-old Timothy Caughman while he was collecting bottles for recycling. He fatally stabbed the elderly man in the back and chest using a sword.
Caughman later staggered into a police station bleeding profusely and was rushed to a hospital where he died from his injuries. A day after the attack, the suspect turned himself in at the police station at Times Square, choosing the location to maximise his media exposure, sources claimed.
"James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate," District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said in a statement following the indictment.
"Last week, with total presence of mind, he acted on his plan, randomly selecting a beloved New Yorker solely on the basis of his skin colour, and stabbing him repeatedly and publicly on a Midtown street corner. James Jackson wanted to kill black men, planned to kill black men, and then did kill a black man."
"Well, if that guy feels so strongly about it, maybe I shouldn't do it," he said, imagining how his actions would lead white women to think, in regards to dating a black man. He explained that he would have preferred to kill a "young thug" or a "successful older black man with blondes" – the kind that might be more prone to interracial relationships.
He also criticised the media for encouraging mixed-race relations. "It's like every other commercial in the past few years has a mixed-race couple in it," he complained.
"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," Jackson said in the interview which took place at Rikers Island prison on 26 March.
In what the news website described as a "disturbing sit-down", the army veteran described how he began having racist thoughts from the age of three. "My family is as liberal as they come," he mentioned, adding that he shared his contrasting opinions with "like-minded people" online and visited websites like Daily Stormer, an American neo-Nazi and white supremacist news and commentary websites. Another notorious visitor to the site was Dylann Storm Roof, Charleston church-shooter responsible for the murder of nine blacks in June 2015.