Black Men Tortured by White Mississippi Police “Goon Squad” Demand Justice

Six white former law enforcement officials in Mississippi who referred to as themselves the “Goon Squad” have pleaded responsible to raiding a house on false drug fees and torturing two Black males whereas yelling racist slurs at them, after which making an attempt to cowl it up. We converse with Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker about how, on January 24, six deputies in Braxton, Mississippi, raided the house they had been staying in and attacked them, and the way they’re talking out to demand justice. In the meantime, the deputies have been linked to at the least 4 violent assaults on Black males since 2019, during which two of the lads died. We additionally converse with civil rights legal professional Malik Shabazz, who’s representing Jenkins and Parker in a federal lawsuit in opposition to the Rankin County Sheriff’s Division. Shabazz asserts that the majority-white Rankin County, which is 20 miles away from majority-Black Jackson, Mississippi, is “infested with white supremacists” who “have determined ‘Rankin County is for whites’” and search to implement it by way of state-sanctioned violence and torture, overseen and coated up by Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey. “We demand that Bryan Bailey step down,” says Shabazz. Parker provides, “We would like justice for everybody that has gone by way of this with Rankin County.”


This can be a rush transcript. Copy is probably not in its remaining kind.

AMY GOODMAN: That is Democracy Now!,, The Conflict and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

A warning to our viewers: This subsequent phase comprises descriptions and pictures of police violence.

We flip now to Mississippi, the place six white former law enforcement officials, who referred to as themselves the “Goon Squad,” have pleaded responsible to raiding a house and torturing two Black males earlier this 12 months, after first making an attempt to cowl up their actions. A few of the officers face life in jail.

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On January twenty fourth, courtroom data present the deputies raided a house in Braxton, Mississippi, after a white neighbor of one of many officers referred to as in to complain there have been Black males staying there. The officer texted the others, quote, “Are y’all out there for a mission?”

That night time, and not using a warrant, the officers burst into the house, handcuffed, beat, tasered the 2 males, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, additionally sexually abused them with a intercourse toy whereas shouting racial slurs. One of many officers put a gun in Jenkins’ mouth for a “mock execution” and pulled the set off. The bullet lacerated Jenkins’ tongue, broke his jaw, exited by way of his neck.

That is U.S. Legal professional Darren LaMarca final week asserting federal fees in opposition to the previous officers for the assault.

DARREN LAMARCA: However not solely did they overtly commit these acts, however after inflicting severe bodily damage by firing a shot by way of one of many victims’ mouths, they left him mendacity in a pool of blood, gathered on the porch of the home to debate cowl it up. What indifference. What disregard for all times.

AMY GOODMAN: After the assault, Michael Corey Jenkins was really charged with a felony, primarily based on methamphetamine the officers stated they discovered within the raid. However data present that was a lie, and the cost was dropped. In truth, the deputies planted medication to plot an excuse for the raid and in addition stole surveillance video from the home. Their physique cameras had been off.

Court docket paperwork stated the officers used the title Goon Squad, quote, “due to their willingness to make use of extreme drive and to not report it.” The Related Press found the deputies had been linked to at the least 4 violent assaults on Black males since 2019 — two of the lads died.

For extra, we’re joined by Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, in addition to Malik Shabazz, a civil rights legal professional with Black Legal professionals for Justice, who’s representing them.

We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Malik, let’s start with you. Are you able to discuss how this case was uncovered, how we noticed these officers charged, and what you perceive about their background, this not being the primary vicious assault?

MALIK SHABAZZ: OK. Thanks for having us on. I need to say, earlier than we get began, that Michael and Eddie will solely be talking — that they can not converse in regards to the particular particulars of what occurred in that home that night time, however they will discuss their reactions to the responsible verdicts and to their ache and struggling. And Michael is struggling, as a result of half of his face is numb. And we’ve got sentencing arising, so we’re below sure delicate authorized tips. However we’re joyful to be on with such a progressive viewers.

This case was delivered to gentle by way of the willpower of Black Legal professionals for Justice, of myself because the legal professional for Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, and Mississippi counsel Trent Walker. From early January, we’ve got advocated strongly and vigorously in each means, and we’ve got labored with neighborhood activists in Mississippi and all through the nation, to be able to deliver the reality that’s coming to gentle at the moment, that these defendants — Hunter Elward, Christian Dedmon, Brett McAlpin, Middleton, Opdyke and Joshua Hartfield — that they’re referred to as the Rankin County “Goon Squad.” They’re recognized in the neighborhood because the Rankin County “demise squad.” This has been occurring for a very long time below the management of Sheriff Bryan Bailey, who’s a — needs to be the topic of prison investigation additionally. And so they have been getting away with this so lengthy that they felt emboldened to behave in such a radical and callous means on that night time of January twenty fourth, 2023. However it’s by way of persistence, it’s by way of intense authorized advocacy, with us advocating to the U.S. Justice Division, gathering proof and making use of authorized strain and all types of strain, to result in what’s now historic.

Final Thursday, these six defendants pled responsible to 14 federal prison fees. They may plead responsible to extra state fees Monday. That is the primary time, Democracy Now! That is the primary time {that a} white Mississippi police officer has ever been held criminally liable for harming a Black individual. And we all know that loads of police brutality has occurred, not solely in Rankin County below Bryan Bailey, however all through the state of Mississippi. This can be a history-making second. I’m simply so sorry it needed to come on the backs of the ache and the struggling, the torture and the capturing and the abuse and waterboarding of Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, our shoppers.

AMY GOODMAN: I can’t bear to go to Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, assembly you on this means, for what you went by way of that horrific January night time. However I’m questioning if every of you can reply to the responsible plea of those officers and what it means to you that a few of them could also be dealing with life in jail. Michael Jenkins, let’s start with you.

MICHAEL JENKINS: I really feel — I really feel nice that we’re lastly getting justice, after months. You realize, at first, they didn’t even consider us. For some time, l didn’t suppose they was going to even get a slap on the wrist or something. However I really feel nice about it.

AMY GOODMAN: And I do know it’s troublesome so that you can discuss, with the gun in your mouth — the police shot you thru your mouth, lacerating your tongue. It went by way of to your neck, shredding that space of your neck. I’m solely glad which you could be with us at the moment. Did you suppose you had been going to outlive that night time, Michael?

MICHAEL JENKINS: No, ma’am. No, ma’am. I’m nonetheless going by way of ache proper now, my entire face numb, my mouth hurting proper now, as we converse.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Eddie, Eddie Parker, should you can discuss your response to this plea deal?

EDDIE PARKER: It’s a very long time coming. It’s some — I say that is additionally historical past, too, you recognize, coming from a good distance of going by way of this case with the identical law enforcement officials. And just about, you steer clear, you recognize, keep out the best way, so that you wouldn’t find yourself on this scenario, however ended up on this scenario with part of me, you recognize, staying clear. So, I’m astounded. I’m actual joyful that it’s lastly come to a degree the place they’re getting a sense of what they dish out to individuals, you recognize, day in, day trip.

AMY GOODMAN: And I actually misspoke, as a result of it’s not a deal. They’ve pled responsible. The concept that they name themselves, Eddie Parker, that they name themselves the “Goon Squad,” your ideas?

EDDIE PARKER: That’s the Goon Squad. That appears to be against the law group, as properly. They had been — I suppose they had been paid to exit and, you recognize, to cease, however they turned that theirself. I consider police and the general public, you recognize, go hand in hand. I imply, they’re individuals, similar to us. You realize, they need to be held accountable for all the things they do. They need to get, you recognize, this sure, I suppose you say, the end-of-the-stick remedy as being the golden ones. However they’re not. They’re individuals, similar to us. I imply, they exit, and so they do, you recognize, the alternative of what they’re getting paid to do. I feel it’s very horrendous how they will name theirself, you recognize, Goon Squad and nonetheless placed on a badge and say they’re defending individuals.

AMY GOODMAN: Malik Shabazz, your lawsuit additionally mentions different occasions Rankin County sheriff deputies used extreme drive. I need to ask you about Damien Cameron, who died in 2021 after being taken into custody by the identical Rankin County sheriff’s deputies who later attacked Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker. This can be a clip from a WAPT information report that includes [Cameron’s] mom, Monica Lee.

ERIN PICKENS: A information launch from the Rankin County Sheriff’s Workplace says deputies bought a name a few housebreaking and vandalism. Once they arrived, Damien was recognized because the suspect. The discharge says as a deputy approached him, he started to combat and resist arrest. They had been capable of ultimately get him into custody and right into a patrol automobile.

MONICA LEE: And I’m considering they’re taking my son to jail, so I’m going outdoors to inform my son goodbye and I like him, and I’ll be up there tomorrow. At that time, once I bought to the aspect of the truck, my son was laying on the bottom, unresponsive.

AMY GOODMAN: Monica Lee has stated she believes if the sheriff had taken motion in opposition to the deputies concerned in her son’s demise, perhaps they’d not have gone on to assault Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker. The lawsuit additionally holds Sheriff Bailey liable for failing to correctly practice the deputies concerned in these incidents. That is Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey talking final week in regards to the fees his former deputies pled responsible to.

SHERIFF BRYAN BAILEY: Based mostly on the details and the responsible pleas, all the former deputies lied to me that night time of this incident in January. We now have cooperated totally with all outdoors investigating companies to uncover the reality and convey justice to the victims. We’ve additionally sought help from outdoors companies and consultants to assist us in repairing our belief with the neighborhood.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that was Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey talking final week. Malik Shabazz, the civil rights legal professional who has introduced the lawsuit on behalf of Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, should you can reply to the sheriff and to this earlier case?

MALIK SHABAZZ: Sure. To begin with, I need to give honors to Ms. Monica Lee, who’s the mom of Damien Cameron. Legal professional Trent Walker and myself, we signify Ms. Monica Lee for the demise of Damien Cameron, which occurred by the hands of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Division and its officers, together with Hunter Elward, the shooter, who didn’t simply shoot Michael Jenkins in his mouth. He positioned the gun inside Michael Jenkins’ mouth and held it for an prolonged time period, nearly as much as a minute, earlier than he deliberately shot Michael Jenkins in his mouth, trying to kill him.

Sure, Ms. Lee is right: If they’d not have participated in a cover-up round Damien Cameron’s demise — Damien Cameron’s demise is analogous and similar to George Floyd’s demise. It was Hunter Elward and Luke Stickman who put the knees on Damien Cameron’s again and on his neck, inflicting trauma to his neck and inflicting hemorrhages in each Damien Cameron’s eyes, that means that the compression on his neck is what led to asphyxiation and his precise reason behind demise. However the post-mortem, mysteriously, was dominated undetermined. With all the proof that I’m saying and all the grotesque pictures of the neck accidents and the hemorrhages of the eyes bulging out of his head, the post-mortem discovering was mysteriously undetermined. The post-mortem itself is lacking sure info, and subsequently, myself and Black Legal professionals for Justice, we’ve got our personal forensic pathologists who’re coming forth shortly to indicate you that this was murder, and that Rankin County and Bryan Bailey refused to offer the state health worker with info to succeed in a correct conclusion, as a result of they had been all defending the officers from prison prosecution. Due to this fact, the post-mortem is suspicious. The post-mortem and the efforts to have a real post-mortem, it was coated up by Rankin County. And Bryan Bailey has been part of this. Ms. Lee is right: In the event that they hadn’t been making an attempt to cowl up, if Bailey hadn’t been making an attempt to justify his officers — no, he didn’t simply not practice them. He has participated in acts of extreme drive along with his division, in response to the courts. When Hunter Elward shot Pierre Woods in Rankin County on the bottom, and he gunned him — and he shot him 9 occasions along with his rifle, and the person was no risk to him, Sheriff Bailey was on the scene, and a federal decide dominated that Bailey couldn’t have certified immunity, as a result of he ratified and watched all of it go on in individual.

And so, the reality is popping out in regards to the demise of Damien Cameron and the way they’d the knees on his neck, like his mom has testified by affidavit to, and so they had the knees on his neck that crushed the life out of Damien Cameron, and so they did nothing about it. They’ve lied to us, however we’re going to deliver that case. That case is coming again to life.

Rankin County is infested with white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan. They infiltrated the sheriff’s division. Bryan Bailey has recognized about this. Many of those criminals had been on obligation up till June 1st. Solely by way of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Division of Justice chief Kristen Clarke and her Southern District in Mississippi, who’ve completed a fantastic job — solely by way of their efforts has Bryan Bailey, sheriff, making an attempt to return to some regret. He has not even apologized to the victims. We demand that Bryan Bailey step down now. He’s part of a sample, a apply and a tradition and a customized of terrorism by his division. We now have Blacks, whites, wealthy, poor. They’ve been overwhelmed by his officers. He has recognized this all alongside.

And the battle continues on this case for compensation for these two struggling victims, Jenkins and Parker, however for all the victims of Rankin County terrorism. It’s the primary county for terrorism and white supremacist infiltration. Living proof earlier than I shut, Christian Dedmon, he has — it’s popping out he has members of the family which have pled responsible in Mississippi to hate crimes. I imply, much more goes to return out about this. Rankin County is infested with white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan, and it’s within the police division.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Malik Shabazz, are you able to place Rankin County for us in two methods, in historical past and in addition simply geographically? It’s proper close to Jackson, the capital?

MALIK SHABAZZ: Sure. Legal professional Trent Walker says — who grew up in Rankin County, my accomplice, legal professional Trent Walker, states that this was customary in Rankin County. They beat first, and so they don’t ask questions later. They beat you, they kill you, and you’re ordered to not say something about it.

Hunter Elward, the shooter, really pled responsible in federal courtroom to a different crime he had dedicated, which contained an analogous reality to what he did within the dwelling of Jenkins and Parker. When these deputies busted in to start this torture session, Hunter Elward shot his gun off as an intimidation in opposition to Jenkins and Parker. Earlier than he shot Michael later, he shot his gun off. Effectively, he pled responsible in federal courtroom to doing the identical factor to a different individual in Rankin County, simply capturing his gun off like that.

So, what we’re saying, ma’am, is that each one of those truths are going to return to gentle. Rankin County has completed this for a very long time. It’s close to Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson, Mississippi — and I consider the county is kind of a response to Jackson. Jackson is in Hinds County. It’s majority Black, and there’s hostility in the direction of Jackson. And Rankin is sort of a white enclave that’s subsequent to Jackson, and it’s arrange nearly like a political, social antithesis in opposition to Jackson. And so, they’re clearing Rankin, simply 20 minutes away from Jackson, Mississippi, similar to these deputies stated. They didn’t need any Black males residing within the space. The mere reality that there have been Black males on this space, that they had been going to hold out this mission and allow them to know that they weren’t welcome, and so they had been going to violate all legal guidelines and break in. It’s as a result of they’ve decided — I consider these deputies and others in that county have decided that Rankin County is for whites, and Hinds County is for Blacks. And so they’re going to implement it, below the colour of regulation, by way of violence and torture.

To not point out, particularly on this program, we can’t neglect waterboarding. Waterboarding was the place america army was condemned for utilizing these strategies on the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq within the Iraq Conflict. The army denounced this. However in 2023, extremely, in Rankin County, these deputies — Elward, McAlpin, Dedmon, Opdyke, Middleton, Hartsfield — they really waterboarded the 2 males you see now. That they had them on their backs. That they had them in handcuffs. That they had them intimidated. And so they had been pouring milk, liquids and grease throughout their faces on this insane interrogation and intimidation act.

Then, after they did all this — are you able to think about regulation enforcement with dildos and sexual units of their possession, trying and placing it within the mouths — I hate to say this, that occurred to the brothers, however we’ve bought to know their ache and struggling — to take a dildo and to shove it within the mouths of handcuffed and sure males, after which — and waterboard them like that on the bottom, after which hurl eggs at them, after which make them strip bare within the bathe to attempt to clear this mess up, strip these males bare in entrance of those criminals? You realize, it simply by no means fails to ignite my ardour, and subsequently, tactically and strategically, we’re after Rankin County, and we received’t let up.

AMY GOODMAN: I need to finish with the voices of Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker. How you’ve lived by way of the aftermath of this, the trauma that you’ve got skilled, and what you need to come out of this? I imply, it appears to be like like you’re exposing a complete sheriff’s division in Mississippi. Let’s start with Eddie Parker.

EDDIE PARKER: Effectively, we would like justice. We would like justice for everybody that has gone by way of this with Rankin County or gone by way of this due to Rankin County. We would like justice for those that had been afraid to talk up, you recognize, justice for those that may’t converse up. We would like, you recognize, one thing new and higher, you recognize, within the declare to return out of this.

AMY GOODMAN: And Michael Jenkins?

MICHAEL JENKINS: Principally the identical factor, to be sure that no one by no means goes by way of what we went by way of once more. You realize, animals don’t get handled like this. You realize, I ain’t by no means seen no animal get handled like this.

AMY GOODMAN: Effectively —

MICHAEL JENKINS: Simply to ensure —

AMY GOODMAN: I simply need to thanks, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, on your bravery in coming ahead and telling your tales, and in addition I need to thank Malik Shabazz, the civil rights legal professional with Black Legal professionals for Justice.

Developing, we’re going to Detroit to speak to a lady who was falsely arrested and jailed whereas eight months pregnant, on account of defective AI facial recognition expertise. She’s the primary lady to be arrested for this. Stick with us.

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