Cops charged in torture of African Americans
US Attorney General Merrick Garland, at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, USA, 15 August 2023. EFE/EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Cops charged in torture of African Americans


Washington, Mar 21 (EFE).-

Sentences ranging from 10 to 40 years were handed down to six white police officers involved in the group torture of two African American men in Mississippi, United States, informed on Thursday a press release of the US Department of Justice.

Judge Tom Lee announced the sentences during the week for the entire group, which called itself the “goon squad” and was known for using excessive force.

Christian Dedmon, 29, was sentenced to 40 years in prison; Brett McAlpin, 53, former chief investigator, was sentenced to 27.25 years in prison; Hunter Elward, 31, was sentenced to 20 years in prison; Jeffrey Middleton, 46, was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison; Daniel Opdyke, 28, former deputy, was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison; and Joshua Hartfield, 32, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The events occurred on Jan. 24, 2023, when, according to court documents and the plea hearings, Dedmon sent a group message to Middleton, Elward, and Opdyke organizing a “goon squad”

Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro (L) speaks with the media near the correctional center, before reporting to the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida, USA, 19 March 2024. EFE/EPA/CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH CRISTOBAL HERRERA


Then, officers along with McAlpin and Hartfield burst into the home of the victims, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, without a warrant after someone called the police to report that two African Americans were staying at the home of a white woman.

The officers kicked down the door and arrested the two men without probable cause, then tasered them, beat them, threw alcohol in their faces, and sexually assaulted them, all while calling them racial slurs and telling them to “go back” to “their side” of town, according to court documents.

Elward then shot Jenkins in the mouth, feigning an execution, but thinking the gun was not loaded, and wounded him critically, so the officers planted drugs at the scene to file false charges against the victims and try to cover everything up.

According to prosecutors, McAlpin and Middleton, the most senior officers in the group, threatened to kill the other officers if they talked about what happened.

The incident came to light after the victims filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the group of officers last summer.

In a separate incident on Dec. 4, 2022, Dedmon coerced a confession from a white man by beating, tasing and sexually assaulting him while Elward and Opdyke failed to intervene.The three men also pleaded guilty in that case.

“The depravity of the crimes committed by these defendants cannot be overstated, and they will now spend between 10 and 40 years in prison for their heinous attack on citizens they had sworn to protect,” said US Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement released Thursday by the US Department of Justice.

Garland added that “officers who violate constitutional rights will be held accountable by the Department of Justice for their crimes, which harm individual victims and betray the trust of entire communities.”

In 2020, the killing of African-American George Floyd by a group of white police officers, recorded by witnesses on the street, sparked one of the most important racial protests in the United States in recent decades. EFE


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