6 white ex-officers in Mississippi plead guilty to assault on 2 Black men

Six white former Mississippi police officers pleaded guilty to a racist assault on two Black men, ending with one victim shot in the mouth.

What happened: The officers entered a house without a warrant, abused the men over a 90-minute period using an array of items and staged a “mock execution” that went wrong.
* They subsequently conspired to plant and tamper with evidence instead of aiding the wounded victim.
* Five of the officers were from Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, while the other was an off-duty Richland police officer. All have pleaded guilty to assault among other charges.
* In a separate incident, three of the officers also pleaded guilty to federal felony offenses, with one officer beating a white man and the other two officers failing to intervene.

Investigation and charges: The Justice Department launched a civil rights probe in February, resulting in state charges against the six former officers, including assault and conspiracy.
* An Associated Press investigation linked the deputies to at least four violent encounters with Black men since 2019, with two ending in deaths.
* The use of extreme force fits a larger scope of increased scrutiny of U.S. law enforcement brutality, highlighted by cases like the 2020 killing of George Floyd.

Victim response: The victims Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, who are identified in the documents by their initials, have publicized the incident.
* They filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Rankin County in June, seeking $400 million in damages.

Sentencing: The sentencing is to be held in mid-November.
* The officers face maximum sentences, ranging from 80 to 120 years plus life in prison, alongside substantial fines. They plan to plead guilty to the state charges on Aug. 14.

Context: The officers raided the home as a result of a complaint that Black people were staying there with the white homeowner.
* During the raid, officers used racist slurs and warned the victims to stay out of Rankin County and “go back to their side” of the Pearl River.
* Extremely violent force was used, indicating a premeditated intent to cause injury without leaving visible marks, coordinating their entry to avoid security cameras, and attempting to destroy evidence.
* A sadistic feature of the assault involved electrocuting the victims with stun guns to compare the power of different department’s weapons.

View original article on NPR

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