JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Six former law enforcement officers in Mississippi have been charged
with federal civil rights offenses against two Black men who were brutalized for more than an
hour during a home raid, before an officer allegedly shot one of the men in the mouth.
The charges were unsealed Thursday as the former five Rankin County sheriff’s deputies and
another officer — all of whom are white — appeared in federal court.
The two Black men, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, say the officers burst into a
home without a warrant on Jan. 24, then beat them, assaulted them with a sex object and
shocked them repeatedly with Tasers over a roughly 90-minute period. The episode culminated
with one deputy placing a gun in Jenkins’ mouth and firing, they said.
The charges come after an Associated Press investigation that linked deputies who were
involved with the episode to at least four violent encounters with Black men since 2019 that left
two dead and another with lasting injuries.
The Justice Department in February launched a civil rights probe into allegations levied by
Jenkins and Parker, who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Rankin County in June,
seeking $400 million in damages.
Those charged in the case are former Rankin County Sheriff’s Department employees Hunter
Elward, Christian Dedmon, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton and Daniel Opdyke and former
Richland police officer Joshua Hartfield.
Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey announced on June 27 that all five deputies involved in the
Jan. 24 episode had been fired or resigned. Hartfield was later revealed to be the sixth law
enforcement officer at the raid. Hartfield was off-duty when he participated in the raid, and he
was also fired.
Michael Goldberg contributed to this story. He is a corps member for the Associated
Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national
service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
Follow Michael Goldberg at: @mikergoldberg.