Six Former Mississippi Police Officers Plead Guilty To Charges In Torture Of Two Black Men
On Monday, August 14, six former Mississippi police officers pled guilty to all state charges against them connected to a January 2023 incident in which they tortured and abused two Black men.
Christian Dedmon, Hunter Elward, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, and Daniel Opdyke—who are former deputies—along with ex-police officer Joshua Hartfield all entered guilty pleas earlier this month in a federal case tied to the same violent attack. According to CNN, the charges against the men include conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, as well as home invasion and aggravated assault. They have been formally charged with 13 felonies and were officially relieved of their positions in June.
The former officers, who referred to themselves as the “Goon Squad,” broke down the door of the victims and proceeded to assault them for two hours.
The victims, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker filed a federal lawsuit in June, alleging the Mississippi officers illegally entered their home in Braxton, where they proceeded to handcuff, kick, waterboard, and tase them before also attempting to sexually assault them. Jenkins also recalled one of the deputies putting a gun into his mouth before shooting him.
Jenkins and Parkers both feel that the attack was racially motivated. The deputies “in their repeated use of racial slurs in the course of their violent acts, were oppressive and hateful against their African-American victims,” their lawsuit says. “Defendants were motivated on the basis of race and the color of the skin of the persons they assaulted.”
According to CNN, only one officer in the case has released a statement via his legal counsel. “He takes responsibility for his part in the horrific harms perpetrated on Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Parker, the victims, and is prepared to face the consequences of his misconduct,” Opdyke’s attorney Jeffrey Reynolds said in a statement.