James Harris Jackson, 28, stands accused of the fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old homeless man in New York City. Jackson served the Army in Afghanistan as military intelligence expert. Police released surveillance footage to the public of him in the moments after the alleged stabbing. Just after midnight on Tuesday , Jackson turned himself into New York police at the Times Square precinct after telling them, “You need to arrest me. I have the knife in my coat.” He is alleged to have murdered Timothy Caughman, a black man, sometime on Monday night. On Wednesday afternoon, he was seen in police custody leaving an NYPD precinct building, dressed in a white hazmat suit.
Jackson hails from Baltimore, Maryland, where police say he belongs to a white supremacist group in Maryland. He was incensed by the notion of black men dating white women, and came to New York City to kill black people, according to reports. In Hell’s Kitchen, a neighborhood in New York, he ended Caughman’s life. Caughman stumbled into a nearby police precinct for aid and collapsed there after suffering multiple stab wounds in the back and chest. He died at a nearby hospital.
The Army has confirmed that Jackson served from March 2008 until August 2012. Serving as a military intelligence analyst, Jackson reached the rank of specialist in February 2011. Assigned first to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was sent next to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and then Baumholder, Germany. He was deployed to Afghanistan from December 2010 until November 2011.
Jackson received several awards during his military career: Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 Campaign Stars, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal. In Facebook photos, he is depicted smiling with his proud parents.
Police found two edged weapons in Jackson’s coat at the precinct station where he turned himself in and was kept for questioning. Police seized a black 26-inch black sword reminiscent of the type used by ancient Romans. In addition, there was a knife. Police assert that Jackson chose New York City to carry out his crime because he wanted to make a statement in the media capital of the world. According to the New York Daily News, NYPD Assistant Chief of police William Aubrey said, “It’s been well over 10 years that he has been harboring his hate towards blacks.”
Timothy Caughman had been living in transitional housing for people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. He had a record of charges for assault, possession of marijuana, resisting arrest, and menacing.