Birmingham, shootings

Black Man Shot In The Mouth By Mississippi Deputy To File Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Sheriff’s Department

Two Black men are preparing to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against a Mississippi sheriff’s department, accusing it of a pattern of excessive force against Black people, Associated Press reports.

Attorneys for Michael Corey Jenkins, who was shot in the mouth, and Eddie Terrell Parker identified the deputy in question for the first time as Hunter Elward. Jenkins initially said he didn’t know the name of the Mississippi officer who shot him; Parker later recognized his picture after seeing it online.

The men are seeking $400 million in compensatory and punitive damages, as attorney Malik Shabazz said he will file 22 claims of federal civil rights violations in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

“If there ever were a case where punitive damages needed to be levied against police officers, this is the case,” Shabazz said in a press release. “This incredible, nasty, violent ordeal exposes that Rankin County deputies and the Department have had a long pattern and practice of deadly excessive force and hate crimes against its African American citizens.”

The incident occurred on Jan. 24 when six white Rankin County deputies allegedly entered Parker’s house and handcuffed and beat him and Jenkins. The men claim they were repeatedly shocked with stun guns and forced to lie on their backs as the deputies poured milk over their faces. Parker and Jenkins also claim the officers attempted to assault them with a sex toy found in the home, which led to one cop placing a gun in Jenkins’ mouth and firing. Jenkins spent several weeks in the hospital, according to WJTV 12.

Shabazz compared the assault to Tyre Nichols’ death, which occurred in Memphis and shocked the nation earlier this year.

“Michael would be dead like [Tyre] Nichols had he not have been lucky enough to survive this near deadly attack by 6 white Rankin County Deputies,” Shabazz said.

The deputies, who had no body camera footage, said that the raid took place due to a report of drug activity. Both Parker and Jenkins were charged with possession and other charges.

AP reported the same county sheriff’s department has been involved in at least four violent encounters with Black men in Mississippi since 2019.