Six white former Mississippi police officers, known as the “Goon Squad,” pleaded guilty to state charges on Monday for torturing two Black men in a racist assault.
The “Goon Squad” included former Rankin County sheriff’s deputies – Brett McAlpin, Hunter Elward, Christian Dedmon, Jeffery Middleton, and Daniel Opdyke – and Richland police officer Joshua Hartfield.
Prosecutors say the group of officers gave themselves that nickname because of their willingness to cross the line, use excessive force, and cover up their misdeeds.
On January 24, 2023, the officers entered a Braxton, Mississippi home without a warrant, handcuffed, and assaulted Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker with stun guns, a sex toy, and other objects.
For 90 minutes, the Goon Squad tortured Michael and Corey, called them racial slurs, and plotted to plant drugs and a gun on them.
The attack ended when one of the deputies shot Michael Cory Jenkins in the mouth.
The gunshot lacerated his tongue and broke his jaw before exiting his neck.
Months later, the conspiracy unraveled after one deputy admitted to the sheriff he had lied, which prompted the others to confess.
All six officers previously admitted their guilt in a connected federal civil rights case.
The Goon Squad pleaded guilty to state charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to hinder prosecution.
Christian Dedmon and Hunter Elward, who kicked in the door, also pleaded guilty to charges of home invasion.
Elward, who put a gun in the victim’s mouth and pulled the trigger, also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
As part of their plea deal, the officers agreed to the recommended sentences by state prosecutors ranging between five and 30 years in prison.
The former deputies will be sentenced for the heinous acts in federal court in November.
Watch the news report below.
Sadly, Jenkins and Parker were targeted by the officers after a White neighbor complained about two Black men staying at the home with a White woman.
Eddie Terrell Parker was a childhood friend of Kristi Walley, who owned the home.
She’s been paralyzed since she was 15 and he was living there to help take care of her.
In a February interview, Kristi said:
He’s a blessing.
Every time I’ve needed him he’s been here.
There were times I’ve been living here by myself and I didn’t know what I was going to do.
The victims have announced a $400 million civil rights lawsuit against Rankin County authorities.
My heart breaks for Michael and Eddie.
I pray for total healing over their minds, body, and soul and that the Goon Squad never sees the outside of a jail cell for the rest of their natural-born lives.