Mississippi 'Goon Squad' Cops Plead Guilty In Torture Of 2 Black Men

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Six former Mississippi officers who referred to themselves as "The Goon Squad" have pleaded guilty to state charges in the torture and abuse of two Black men.

On Monday (August 14), ex-Rankin County Sheriff’s deputies Christian Dedmon, Hunter Elward, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, and Daniel Opdyke and former Richland Police officer Joshua Hartfield pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice in connection to the abuse and torture of Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, CNN reports.

The case stems from the night of January 24, when the former officers kicked down the door of the two men's home in Braxton, Mississippi without a warrant. A lawsuit filed by Jenkins and Parker in June alleges the officers handcuffed, kicked, waterboarded, tased, and attempted to sexually assault them for nearly two hours before one of the deputies shot Jenkins in the mouth.

Following the assault, officers attempted to cover up the incident, fabricating a narcotics bust by planting weapons and drugs.

Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey announced in June that the five deputies had been terminated. The Richland Police Department announced in July that Hartfield had resigned.

The six officers pleaded guilty to federal charges last week. According to a federal charging document, they “called themselves ‘The Goon Squad’ because of their willingness to use excessive force and not to report it."

On Monday, Dedmon and Elward also pleaded guilty to state charges of home invasion. Elward pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for shoving a gun in Jenkins' mouth. McAlpin, Middleton, Opdyke, and Hartfield faced an additional charge of first-degree obstruction of justice, which they also pleaded guilty to.

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