Residents of Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood plan to hold a vigil Saturday to honor the black New York man who was stabbed to death in what police say was a hate crime carried out by one of their white neighbors.
Event organizer Sarah Rice said the purpose of the event is for Hampden residents to "stand up for our neighbors and visitors of color to let them know they are loved and welcome in Hampden."
The vigil will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the corner of 36th Street and Chestnut Avenue to "honor the life of Timothy Caughman, who was senselessly killed by a Hampden resident in New York City," Rice wrote in an email. Rice encouraged neighbors to bring Black Lives Matter or "Hate Free Hampden" signs.
James Harris Jackson, 28, who was raised in Towson but recently rented a brick rowhouse two blocks south of The Avenue in Hampden, is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon. Prosecutors say Jackson is responsible for the killing of Timothy Caughman, 66, whom they say he chose at random.
"Mr. Jackson regarded the killing as practice prior to going to Times Square to kill additional black men," charging documents state. "Mr. Jackson had come to New York from Maryland several days earlier for the purpose of killing black men and had stalked numerous potential victims." Prosecutors say Jackson was "angered by black men mixing with white women."
Jackson was arraigned Thursday in a Manhattan criminal court. He was being held without bail and did not enter a plea. His next court date is Monday.
His lawyer, Sam Talkin, declined to comment Friday, but on Thursday suggested his client might be suffering from mental illness.
"If the facts are anything near what the allegations are, then we're going to address the obvious psychological issues that are present in this case," he told reporters.
The New York City Police Department released surveillance video in the fatal stabbing. James Harris Jackson, 28, of Hampden turned himself in at a Times Square police station early Wednesday in the case, police said.
The crime has shocked Jackson's family and those who attended the school from which he graduated in Baltimore. His family said they were "horrified, and heartbroken by this tragedy" and extended their prayers to Caughman's family.
Jackson graduated from the Friends School of Baltimore in 2007. Matt Micciche, the head of the school, said the school community is "shocked and saddened by the news of this horrific attack. Our school — and the Religious Society of Friends — has a long history of commitment to diversity, racial equality, social justice and nonviolence."
Jackson served in the Army from 2009 to August 2012 and worked as a military intelligence analyst, the Army said. Deployed in Afghanistan from December 2010 to November 2011, he earned several medals and attained the rank of specialist.
The circumstances of his discharge are unclear; the Army cites privacy laws that prevent releasing such details.