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Texas town reflects on dragging death ahead of execution

2 years 3 weeks 4 days ago Sunday, April 21 2019 Apr 21, 2019 April 21, 2019 7:30 AM April 21, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By JUAN A. LOZANO
Associated Press

JASPER, Texas (AP) - A Texas town is still haunted by a gruesome hate crime in which a black man was dragged behind a pickup truck and killed by three white men nearly 21 years ago.

The history of Jasper will be revisited Wednesday, when the ringleader responsible for the brutal 1998 killing of James Byrd Jr. is scheduled to be executed.

Jasper leaders say their community's reputation as a place of racial unrest and intolerance is undeserved.

But other townspeople, as well as members of Byrd's family, believe Jasper has never fully accepted the crime's place in its history. They say some tensions between the white and black communities remain unresolved.

Byrd's family still hopes to build a multicultural center and museum in Jasper to promote diversity and education.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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