6 White Ex-Officers Plead Guilty In Torture Of 2 Black Men

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Six white former Mississippi officers have pleaded guilty to the beating and sexual assault of two Black men.

On Thursday (August 3), five former Rankin County sheriff's deputies — Christian Dedmon, Hunter Elward, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, and Daniel Opdyke — and ex-Richland police officer Joshua Hartfield pleaded guilty in federal court on charges including civil rights conspiracy, deprivation of rights under color of law, and obstruction of justice in the torture of Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker.

The beating and sexual assault of Jenkins and Parker was “a horrific and stark example of violent police misconduct which has no place in our society today,” Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said.

The six officers, who referred to themselves as "The Goon Squad," tortured the men after they allegedly spent the night with a white woman. On January 24, a white neighbor called McAlpin, asking if he and the squad were "available for a mission" before the officers entered a home where Jenkins and Parker were staying without a warrant.

The officers went on to handcuff the two and assault them for 90 minutes. Law enforcement officers beat "Parker with wood and a metal sword, then poured milk, alcohol, and chocolate syrup over their faces before forcing them to strip naked and shower together," per The Hill.

One of the officers fired a gun in Jenkins' mouth. Following the assault, officers attempted to cover up the incident, fabricating a narcotics bust by planting weapons and drugs.

“They left him lying in a pool of blood, gathered on the porch of the house to discuss how to cover it up,” Darren LaMarca, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, said in a statement. “What indifference. What disregard for life.”

The officers “sought to dehumanize their victims and to send a message that these two Black men were not welcome ‘on their side of the river,'” Clarke said. They are also facing charges of aggravated assault, home invasion, and obstruction of justice in the first degree, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced Thursday.

“This brutal attack caused more than physical harm to these two individual victims; it severed that vital trust with the people,” Fitch said in a statement. “This abuse of power will not be tolerated.”

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