Six former law enforcement officers in Mississippi are scheduled to appear in court today to plead guilty to state charges related to the torture and abuse of two Black men. Christian Dedmon, Hunter Elward, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, Daniel Opdyke, and Joshua Hartfield are accused of committing various crimes, including obstruction of justice, home invasion, aggravated assault, and first-degree obstruction of justice.
In a shocking incident that took place on January 24, the ex-officers allegedly kicked down the door of a home in Braxton, Mississippi, where the victims, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, were living. The officers, who did not have a warrant, reportedly assaulted the men for approximately two hours. According to federal charging documents, some officers referred to themselves as “The Goon Squad” due to their willingness to use excessive force without reporting it.
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office issued a news release stating that the officers are expected to plead guilty as part of a plea deal. Last week, they already pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the same incident, which resulted in a combined 13 felonies. The Justice Department described the events as “the torture and physical abuse” of the victims.
Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker filed a federal lawsuit in June, asserting that the officers unlawfully entered their home, handcuffed them, and subjected them to various forms of abuse, including kicking, waterboarding, and tasering. The lawsuit further alleges an attempted sexual assault, culminating in one of the deputies placing a gun in Jenkins’ mouth and shooting him.
The former officers have faced consequences for their actions. Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey announced in June that deputies had been fired, without disclosing the number of individuals involved, while the Richland Police Department confirmed that Joshua Hartfield, who was off-duty during the incident, had resigned.
What charges are the former officers facing? The ex-officers are being charged with crimes such as conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, home invasion, aggravated assault, and first-degree obstruction of justice.
Did the officers have a warrant? No, they did not have a warrant when they forcibly entered the victims’ home.
What were the federal charges? The former officers pleaded guilty to a combined 13 felonies related to the “torture and physical abuse” of the victims.
What consequences have the officers faced? Deputies from the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office were fired, although the exact number was not disclosed. Joshua Hartfield, a former officer from the Richland Police Department, resigned.
Is there a pending lawsuit? Yes, the victims, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, filed a federal lawsuit in June, seeking legal recourse for the alleged illegal entry, abuse, and assault they endured.