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Reports Claim Rankin County Sheriff Officers Called The "Goon Squad" Terrorized Citizens

Several deputies from the Rankin County Sheriff's Department in #Mississippi, known as the "Goon Squad," have been implicated in a pattern of unchecked abuse spanning years. Five deputies pleaded guilty to torturing and sexually assaulting two Black men, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, during a raid in August 2023. Earlier incidents involving deputies Christian Dedmon and Hunter Elward were linked to the deaths of two other Black men in 2019 and 2021.

Media outlet Business Insider had previously sued the department in 2022, revealing records of five deaths in their custody within an 8-month period in 2021. The court ruled in favor of transparency, stating #police agencies are subject to public records laws. A recent report from #TheNewYorkTimes and #MississippiToday unveiled additional instances of abuse by the same deputies over two decades.

Witnesses described prolonged violence during drug raids, often initiated based on information from confidential informants. Former chief investigator Brett McAlpin and former narcotics detective Christian Dedmon were allegedly involved in multiple incidents. A former Hinds County sheriff's deputy, Rick Loveday, claimed he was assaulted during a raid, leading to his arrest, and fled the state out of fear.

Despite these revelations, Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey, reelected in November, declined to comment. The deputies involved in abuse and deaths faced legal challenges, with some fired and convicted. The department settled a lawsuit related to the police shooting of Pierre Woods in 2019. The extensive report highlights systemic issues within the sheriff's department, prompting concerns about the extent of their misconduct and the need for accountability.

The deeply disturbing revelations surrounding the "Goon Squad" of deputies in Rankin County, Mississippi, serve as a stark indictment of the systemic issues deeply embedded within our police agencies.

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