Several Mississippi deputies were fired after being accused of torturing two Black men during a drug raid in January 2023, reports ABC News.
Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker filed a $400 million lawsuit in collaboration with Black Lawyers for Justice against the Rankin County sheriff’s department.
“We understand that the alleged actions of these deputies have eroded the public’s trust in our department,” Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said in a statement on Tuesday. “Rest assured that we will work diligently to restore that trust.”
Although Bailey did not identify the deputies involved in the case, Hunter Elward, Brett Mc'Alpin and Christian Dedmon along with three other unidentified Mississippi deputies listed as "John Doe" are allegedly responsible. Sheriff Bailey is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
“We have cooperated with all investigation efforts related to this incident and have provided all information and data requested in a timely manner,” Bailey added. “This will continue until all investigative efforts are complete and justice is served. We cannot, however, confirm or deny any specific facts related to this incident because of active and ongoing investigations.”
According to the lawsuit, Rankin County deputies entered the residence of Jenkins and Parker without a warrant. Upon entering the home, the two men, who maintain their innocence, were “beaten, sexually assaulted with a sex toy and shocked with tasers for roughly 90 minutes while handcuffed” by the six deputies. Jenkins had a gun placed in his mouth and was shot in the face by one of the deputies, the lawsuit alleges.
The deputies claim that they were at the residence to carry out a legal drug raid.
During the ordeal, deputies also allegedly called Jenkins and Parker racial slurs, forced them to strip naked and shower together and later waterboarded them, the suit claims.
Jenkins, Parker and their attorney Malik Shabazz are pressing for the deputies to be indicted on criminal charges for their role in the horrific incident.
"Too many crimes occurred during the nearly two-hour violent ordeal for there to not be criminal charges in this case. The only question is, which criminal charges? We are hoping for the stiffest," Shabazz shared.
“We're expecting state Attorney General Lynn Fitch to levy criminal charges, serious criminal charges, against these deputies right away if there's justice in the state of Mississippi,” he continued.
Jenkins' mother, Mary Jenkins, said that the firing of the deputies won't go far enough in comparison to what happened to her son.
“It’s not enough to fire those Mississippi deputies because all that they’ll do is go to another police department and get on and do the same thing,” Jenkins stated. “They’re here to protect and serve, but who is going to protect us from them?”
In February, the Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into the incident.