Dressed in jail clothes and shackled by their wrists and ankles, six White former Mississippi law enforcement officers known as "The Goon Squad" now face years behind bars for horrendous crimes against two Black men. The U. S. Attorney's Office says it was part of a pattern of abusive behavior that included mock executions and beatings.
One of those deputies was accused of sticking a gun in a man's mouth and firing.
Attorneys say officers had no warrant.
Rankin County Deputies say they were conducting a drug raid on the home in the county in January where Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker were living.
"Punched, kicked, tased ... That was when they first tased me. It was pretty much an hour and a half or more, an hour and forty-five minutes of torture starting pretty much right after that," said Eddie Parker, who alleged police brutality.
According to a $400 million lawsuit the victims filed against the Rankin County Sheriff's department, the men say they were handcuffed and assaulted with stun guns, a sex toy and other objects. The officers turned their body cameras off as part of a cover-up.
Federal attorneys spoke about some of the details after the five Rankin county deputies and an officer from Richland, Mississippi, pleaded guilty to federal charges in early August.
"These men sexually abused their victims, repeatedly tased them, tortured them all under the authority of the badge, which they disgraced," said Darren Lamarca, U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Mississippi:
Court documents showed Jenkins and Parker were targeted after a neighbor complained the two Black men were staying with a White woman and officers accused them of "dating White women." An Associated Press investigation found some of the officers had been involved in at least four violent encounters with Black men dating back to 2019, sparking community protests.
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