Former Mississippi police officers plead guilty to torturing two black men

US Attorney General says former officers 'inflicted unspeakable harm on their victims'

Michael Jenkins was one of two black men tortured by six white officers in Braxton, Mississippi, in January. AP
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Six white former Mississippi police officers have pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of two black men whom they brutally assaulted this year, the Justice Department said.

The defendants admitted that they had kicked in a door – without a warrant – and entered the Braxton home of two black men identified as MJ and EP.

Federal prosecutors said the six former police officers physically and sexually abused the two men, who later identified themselves as Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker.

Mr Jenkins and Mr Parker were tortured for more than two hours on January 24. The officers had carried out a mock execution and shot Mr Jenkins in the face, critically injuring him.

As he was bleeding on the floor, federal prosecutors said the former officers had tried to cover up their acts by concocting a cover story and planting false evidence.

The defendants had also tased the two men 17 times, forced them to consume liquids, and physically and sexually abused them.

“The defendants in this case tortured and inflicted unspeakable harm on their victims, egregiously violated the civil rights of citizens who they were supposed to protect, and shamefully betrayed the oath they swore as law enforcement officers,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement on Thursday.

The officers pleaded guilty to 16 felonies including civil rights conspiracy, deprivation of rights under colour of law, discharge of a firearm during crime of violence and obstruction of justice.

“No human being should ever be subjected to the kind of torturous, traumatising and horrific acts of violence that were carried out by these law enforcement officers,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The Justice Department opened its investigation in February. Mr Jenkins and Mr Parker have filed a $400 million federal civil rights lawsuit against Rankin County.

Updated: August 04, 2023, 11:52 AM