HipHopWired Featured Video
Wood Gavel Standing Front Of the Mississippi Flag Closeup 3d Render

Source: Baris-Ozer / Getty

Six white former Mississippi police officers, who as part of a  “goon squad” tortured two Black men pleaded guilty to blocking prosecution efforts.

According to reports, the police officers pled guilty to hindering efforts by the prosecution among other charges in relation to the brutal raid and torture of two Black men at a home in Braxton on Jan. 24. Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, Christian Dedmond, Hunter Elward, Daniel Opdyke and Joshua Hartfield referred to themselves as a “goon squad” because of their willingness to use excessive force. Five of the men were deputies with the Rankin Police Department while Hartfield was a narcotics investigator for the Richland Police Department.

“To my knowledge,” said Trent Walker, an attorney for victims Eddie Parker and Michael Jenkins, “never in the history of Mississippi have, in particular, white officers been held to account for brutality against Black victims.” The six men were found to have committed actions hindering obstruction in the case, which included giving false statements to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and intimidating others involved with that incident and others.

The brutal assault on Jenkins and Parker Jan. 24 included deputies hurling racial slurs at the two, beating and torturing them with various objects, resulting in Jenkins being shot in the mouth. He and Parker would be charged with disorderly conduct, with Jenkins being accused of assaulting an officer and drug possession. All the charges would eventually be dropped.

After being federally convicted, the former officers face varying lengths of prison time. Dedmon and Elward each face up to 120 years, in addition to a life sentence. Opdyke faces a sentence of up to 100 years and McAlpin faces a sentence of up to 90 years; Hartfield and Middleton each face up to 80 years. University of South Carolina School of Law professor Seth W. Stoughton said of the situation that it was “reminiscent of the most blatant racist abuses by police in the Jim Crow and Civil Rights era. This was a lynch mob of officers, pure and simple.” Many are calling for Rankin Police Chief Bryan Bailey to resign, but he has vehemently refused and plans to run again for sheriff in November.