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Former Rankin County Deputies Sentenced To Prison For Torturing Two Black Men

Former Mississippi sheriff deputies Daniel Ready Opdyke and Christian Lee Dedmon were sentenced to federal prison for torturing and abusing two Black men, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, in a racist attack. Opdyke received 17.5 years, while Dedmon got 40 years. The incident occurred in January 2023, when Opdyke and Dedmon, along with four other officers, stormed Jenkins and Parker's home without a warrant. 

Both Opdyke and Dedmon pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges, including civil rights conspiracy, deprivation of rights under color of law, discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice. Dedmon received a higher sentence for firing his gun twice during the incident in an attempt to intimidate the victims alongside another separate incident where he led the torture of a White man, Alan Schmidt.

They assaulted the victims with stun guns, forced them to ingest liquids, and hurled racial slurs. Dedmon fired his gun, injuring Jenkins severely. The officers did not provide medical aid, instead planting evidence and filing false reports. The victims endured physical and emotional trauma, with Jenkins still struggling to speak and eat. Opdyke expressed remorse, acknowledging his participation in excessive force. 

"I was a coward. I deeply regret all the pain and suffering I caused you," Opdyke said to Parker. "I could have tried to stop it but I didn't."

Elward and Middleton, also involved, received prison sentences, while McAlpin and Hartfield await sentencing. The victims and their families expressed the profound impact of the attack, with Jenkins' father suggesting harsh punishment for the perpetrators. U.S. District Judge Tom Lee condemned Opdyke's active involvement and handed down a lengthy sentence.

We'll continue to follow this case for more.

Link: NBCNews


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