Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

White Man Charged in Random Deadly Sword Attack on Manhattan Street Told Cops Blacks Should Be ‘Exterminated,’ Taped Confession Shows

James Jackson allegedly plunged a sword into 66-year-old Timothy Caughman on a Manhattan street in March 2017 because Caughman was black

What to Know

  • James Harris Jackson, 28, has pleaded not guilty to murder as a hate crime in the March 20, 2017 death of Timothy Caughman
  • Authorities say Jackson admitted stabbing the 66-year-old Caughman at random as part of a plan to kill black men in NYC
  • Jackson's lawyer has asked the judge to suppress statements Jackson made to police, including: "I really butchered him"

A white man accused of stabbing a black man to death in a random, racist sword attack on a Manhattan street last year told police he wanted to purge the Earth of black people, according to a videotaped confession played in court. 

In that confession, James Jackson told investigators that blacks were "inferior" and should be "exterminated." That confession was played at a pretrial hearing Tuesday, the New York Post reported. 

Jackson, 30, has pleaded not guilty to murder as a hate crime and as an act of terrorism in the March 20, 2017 death of Timothy Caughman. His lawyer has said he was looking into whether an insanity defense would be appropriate.

Authorities previously said Jackson admitted killing the 66-year-old Caughman at random on March 20 as part of a plan to kill black men in New York City. Caughman was stooped over a pile of trash when he was attacked from behind with a sword. Caughman, who was remembered as a gentleman and a good neighbor, was alone and collecting bottles for recycling when he was attacked. He staggered, bleeding, into a police station and later died at a hospital.

Jackson is from Baltimore and a veteran who served in Afghanistan. Family friends have said the allegations are out of line with how he was raised, in a tolerant and liberal middle-class family.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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