Sentencing for the former Mississippi officers who tortured and sexually assaulted two Black men has been postponed for a second time.
According to ABC News, sentencing for Brett McAlpin, Christian Dedmon, Jeffrey Middleton, Hunter Elward, Daniel Opdyke, and Joshua Hartfield has been postponed until March 19th.
In August 2023, the six ex-cops pleaded guilty to federal charges including conspiracy against rights, obstructions of justice, deprivation of rights under color of law, discharge of a firearm under a crime of violence, and conspiracy to obstruct justice after they brutalized, tortured and sexually assaulted Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker.
After sentencing was delayed, activists, community leaders, and residents held a press conference calling for the removal of Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey and those involved in the 2021 death of another Black man named Damien Cameron, who was also killed by Rankin County Sheriff’s deputies.
“Today we have with us organizations all over the state of Mississippi and all over this country that are standing in solidarity with the Michael Jenkins family, that stand in solidarity with the Eddie Parker family,” said Kareem Mohamed, chair of the Local Organizing Committee. “And all those victims in Mississippi that has been victimized by the Goon Squad over the years.”
Residents also expressed their frustrations with the court’s continued delay of sentencing.
“If this continues on, we will begin to shut these doors down,” Mohammed said, “We will not spend our money where people do not care.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, on Jan. 24, 2023, multiple white police officers in Braxton, Mississippi falsely accused two Black men of selling drugs and “dating white women” before handcuffing and brutally torturing them, including shooting one of them in the mouth.
Michael Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker were in a private residence in the village of Braxton on Jan. 24 when the location was raided by six white officers without a warrant, Black Lawyers for Justice said in a press release emailed to NewsOne.
The officers allegedly accused Jenkins and Parker of “dating white women” and “selling drugs” — allegations attorneys have denied — before handcuffing them. After they were restrained, the officers allegedly “repeatedly” brutally beat and kicked the men while using a Taser on both and threatening to kill them. A witness even described the officers participating in something of a Taser contest with Jenkins and Parker being the targets, Jenkins’ mother said.
During interviews with the AP, both Jenkins and Parker confirmed that police stunned them with Tasers repeatedly over roughly 90 minutes. They also forced the two men to lie on their backs while officers poured milk over their faces. One officer would eventually put a gun in Jenkins’ mouth pulling the trigger, leaving him a broken jaw and with wounds that required parts of his tongue to be sewn back together.
Police allege Jenkins was shot after pointing a weapon at them, but Jenkins’ attorney says his client never had a gun.
AP also found that many of the officers involved in the incident were a part of the sheriff’s office’s Special Response Team, an “elite” police unit that draws similar comparisons to the SCORPION unit involved in the beating and death of Tyre Nichols.
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