People were horrified when some white teenagers in Jackson, Mississippi looking for blacks to "f--- with" beat a black man, James Anderson, to death in a parking lot, then one of the attackers got into his vehicle and ran over the victim killing him. All of this was caught on a security camera.http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/08/06/mississippi.hate.crime/index.html
About 125 miles to the north of Jackson in Penola County, a black Sunday School teacher by the name of Johnny Lee Butts was taking a daily walk down Highway 310 when Butts was run down by Matthew Darbe after a night of drinking vodka and smoking marijuana by three teens.
The body of Butts was found 172 feet from the point of impact after being struck by Darbe's Monte Carlo which was traveling an estimated 55 to 70 miles per hour. Testimony later given by the two pasengers reveal Darbe ran down Butts on purpose.
The two passengers, one 18-year old identified as Tony Hopper and a 15-year old said they got out of Darbe's badly damaged vehicle, looked at the body and left. The two teens turned themselves into authorities the next day.
Meanwhile Darbe did exactly what the two teens told authorities he would do, claim he hit a deer and deny drinking and smoking marijuana. Although in testimony given Hopper claimed you could tell Butts was black, authorities investigating have refused to add race as a factor in the killing.
In action that would bring shame on the anniversay or Martin Luther King's birthday, both Sheriff Dennis Darbe (no relation to Matthew), and District Attorney John Champion have so far resisted adding that a hate crime took place.
However testimony of Hopper noted that you could tell Butts was black and Darbe took extreme measures to run over Butts who was walking on the opposite side of the road on the shoulder.
Hopper's own mother, Hope, said in an interview that both boys "freaked out" and that race played a role in Butts' murder. The Hopper family have since received death threats and have refused to talk to anyone.
Adding to the charged atmosphere in Penola County was a later incident where four black boys were walking down the general vicinity when two white men in a white Jeep drove at them causing them to jump into a ditch for safety. Both men drove away laughing at the children.
Sheriff Darbe refused to gtive the one page report to an investigating reporter and told the reporter "not to stir up trouble" because if the reporter did, "I'll be coming after you".
Three years prior in the same county a black man was found dead on the road from being hit by a vehicle. Nothing definitive was ever done or solved from the death.
Although Penola County authorities have not made a effort to add the civil rights violation to the murder of Butts, the Fbi still considers the matter "ongoing".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime