The Rankin County Sheriff in #Mississippi, Bryan Bailey, is vigorously pursuing the dismissal of a $400 million civil lawsuit brought against him by Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, who suffered grave abuses at the hands of former deputies under Bailey's supervision. Both victims endured shocking brutality, with Bailey himself characterizing it as the most extreme case of police misconduct he has ever encountered. Bailey's defense leans on the legal doctrine of "qualified immunity," often employed to shield law enforcement officers from civil penalties for alleged misconduct.
This motion to dismiss was filed shortly after a settlement conference, where parties were attempting to resolve the case without proceeding to trial. Attorneys representing Jenkins and Parker, Malik Shabazz and Trent Walker, strongly oppose the motion. They argue that the evidence points to systemic issues within the department rather than isolated misconduct by specific deputies.
In January, five white former deputies and a #police officer entered a residence without a warrant, subjecting Jenkins and Parker to a brutal assault involving stun guns, a sex toy, and racial slurs. The horrifying climax of this abuse was a "mock execution" of Jenkins. A subsequent cover-up operation included the planting of drugs and a weapon, leading to false charges against the victims. These officers referred to themselves as the "Goon Squad," known for their excessive force and attempts to conceal their actions.
Previous investigations have linked some of these deputies to other violent incidents involving Black men, some of which resulted in fatalities or lasting injuries. Bailey himself has faced legal action in connection with one such incident, involving the tragic killing of Pierre Woods by Rankin County deputies in 2019. Settlement discussions have begun in that case, with the terms undisclosed.
This troubling incident highlights the systemic challenges that persist, demanding a thorough reevaluation of our approach to public safety, accountability, and the protection of Black lives.