NYPD: James Harris Jackson Killed Timothy Caughman ‘To Make a Statement’

By Sameer Rao Mar 23, 2017

New York Police Department (NYPD) assistant chief William Aubry says James Harris Jackson turned himself in yesterday (March 22) and confessed to fatally stabbing Timothy Caughman for racist reasons.

According to The Associated Press (AP), 28-year-old Jackson, who is White, traveled from Baltimore to New York on Friday (March 17) and stayed at a hotel in the borough’s busy Midtown area. He apparently wandered the streets late Monday night (March 20) and came across Caughman—a 66-year-old Black man living in nearby transitional housing—collecting recyclables. The New York Times reports that Jackson argued with Caughman before stabbing him in the back and chest. A bleeding Caughman went to a NYPD station, and officers took him to a nearby hospital where he died from his wounds.

The NYPD released street surveillance video, published here by DNAinfo, that seems to show Jackson fleeing the scene of the assault. The Times says that after the stabbing, Jackson left his weapon in the trash can where police later recovered it and cleaned up the blood on his person at a nearby restaurant.

He turned himself in early yesterday morning after seeing the NYPD’s footage on a local news report and allegedly stopping himself from attacking an interracial couple. Aubry told reporters at a press conference yesterday that Jackson went to an NYPD substation in Times Square and said, "I’m the person that you’re looking for." He also apparently produced two knives and told police where to find the 26-inch-long sword that he used to stab Caughman, which was photographed by the New York Daily News.

"He was specifically intending to target male Blacks for assault," Aubry said about Jackson in the press conference, as captured by ABC 7. "Based on certain information, it appears that the subject has been harboring these feelings for quite some time—it’s well over 10 years that he has been harboring these feelings of hate." Aubry apparently didn’t elaborate on that information, but an anonymous police source tells the Daily News that Jackson is an Army veteran with ties to an unidentified Maryland hate group. The Times reports that police recovered Jackson’s laptop and cell phone and are waiting on a warrant to search them. Another anonymous source told The Times that the NYPD also obtained a manifesto explaining Jackson’s racist motivations that he wished to send to the paper.

"The reason he picked New York is because it’s the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement," Aubry said at the press conference. The Times adds that the department booked Jackson on second-degree murder and seeks hate crime charges.

The Daily News captured Jackson on video as police took him, handcuffed and wearing a white Tyvek body suit to preserve evidence on his body, from Midtown South Precinct to Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday afternoon. CBS New York reports that Jackson is expected back in court today (March 23).