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"Goon Squad" Member Hunter Elward Gets 20 Years In Prison For Torturing 2 Black Men

In a harrowing incident that unfolded in Braxton, #Mississippi, six former officers from the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department and Richland Police Department admitted to a range of state and federal charges stemming from the abuse and torture of two Black men, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker. One officer, Hunter Elward, was the first to receive a sentence with 20 years in prison.

This group, which included Elward, Brett McAlpin, Christian Dedmon, Daniel Opdyke, Jeffrey Middleton, and Joshua Hartfield, faced accusations of conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice. Notably, some of these officers self-identified as “The Goon Squad,” a moniker reflective of their readiness to employ and conceal their use of excessive force.

The abuse, detailed in a federal lawsuit seeking $400 million in damages, involved nearly two hours of brutal treatment including the use of tasers, attempts at sexual assault, and culminated in Jenkins being shot in the mouth. This egregious event, motivated by racial discrimination, prompted federal and state legal actions, leading to the guilty pleas of the involved officers. Scheduled for sentencing by US District Court Judge Tom Lee in Jackson, Mississippi, the proceedings are anticipated to unfold over three days, underscoring the gravity of the crimes committed against Jenkins and Parker.

Adding to their legal woes, three of the officers—Dedmon, Elward, and Opdyke—also entered guilty pleas for separate felonies related to another incident in December 2022, showcasing a pattern of misconduct. The Justice Department and victims' representatives have expressed a strong commitment to pursuing justice and addressing racial discrimination within the ranks of Mississippi's police departments. The former officers face significant prison sentences, with federal prosecutors pushing for the maximum penalty in light of the severity of their actions.

These heinous acts are not isolated incidents but symptomatic of broader patterns of racial discrimination and police brutality. We'll continue to update as more information comes out.

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Link: NBCNews


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