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Rodney Pearson Jasper, Texas Town's First Black Police Chief, Sparks Racial Firestorm

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JASPER, UNITED STATES: Painted circles that marked evidence in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. are still visible on the county road outside Jasper, Texas, 27 January. John William 'Bill' King and two others were accused of beating and then chaining the 49-year-old disabled black man by his ankles to a pick-up truck and dragging him more than three miles, strewing his body along the road. AFP PHOTO PAUL BUCK (Photo credit should
JASPER, UNITED STATES: Painted circles that marked evidence in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. are still visible on the county road outside Jasper, Texas, 27 January. John William 'Bill' King and two others were accused of beating and then chaining the 49-year-old disabled black man by his ankles to a pick-up truck and dragging him more than three miles, strewing his body along the road. AFP PHOTO PAUL BUCK (Photo credit should

On a June morning in 1998, Rodney Pearson, the first black highway patrolman in Jasper, Texas, got a call. He walked along a mile and half of drag marks, skin and blood, and found the spot in the woods where three white supremacists had wrapped a logging chain around James Byrd Jr.'s ankles, hooked it to a pickup truck and dragged the 49-year-old black man to death along an asphalt road.

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