A white Army veteran accused of fatally stabbing a black man in New York City was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in a Manhattan criminal court on Thursday.
James Harris Jackson, 28, intended to “kill as many black men here in New York as he could” on Friday, the day he attacked Timothy Caughman, 66, with a 26-inch sword, prosecutor Joan Illuzi said, according to NBC New York. “The defendant was motivated purely by hatred,” Illuzi added.
Jackson could face additional charges, including first-degree murder, said the prosecutor, who described the killing as “an act, most likely, of terrorism.”
Jackson told police that he traveled on a bus from Baltimore to New York “for the purpose of killing black men,” according to the criminal complaint. Authorities said that Jackson chose New York because it’s the “media capitol of the world” and he wanted to draw attention to his mayhem.
Caughman ― a “can and bottle recycler,” according to his Twitter account ― was rummaging through a trash can when Jackson stabbed him in the back, face and hand with the sword. Caughman, bloodied from his injuries, walked to a nearby police precinct. He died while being rushed to a hospital, according to WPIX-TV.
Surveillance video from before the killing shows Jackson stalking another black man without attacking him, according to CBS News.
Jackson reportedly surrendered to a Times Square NYPD substation a little more than 24 hours after the attack, telling officers: “You need to arrest me. I’ve got the knife in my coat.”
Jackson revealed to police that he’s harbored a hatred for black men for at least 10 years, authorities said during a Wednesday press conference. The New York Times reported that Jackson wrote a manifesto detailing his plans, which he had intended to deliver to the paper.
Jackson’s attorney, Sam Talkin, said the defense would address “the obvious psychological issues that are present in this case,” according to The Associated Press.
Hank Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter’s New York branch, told NBC News that the attack was “an act of domestic terrorism,” adding that “there is no way Mr. Caughman should have had to die like this.”
Jackson, a Baltimore native, served in the Army from 2009 to 2012, according to the Baltimore Sun.