6 ex-officers, some of whom called themselves ‘The Goon Squad,’ plead guilty to state charges in torture of 2 Black men


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Dakin Andone, CNN

Activists march towards the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office in Brandon, Mississippi in July after five former deputies and one former Richland police officer were accused of assaulting two Black men (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Six former Mississippi law enforcement officers pleaded guilty Monday to all state charges against them stemming from the torture and abuse of two Black men earlier this year.

Their pleas Monday came after the former officers – five of them deputies for the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office, the sixth an officer for the Richland Police Department – pleaded guilty earlier this month to federal charges in connection to the same January 2023 incident, which the victims have claimed was motivated by their race.

Former deputies Christian Dedmon, Hunter Elward, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton and Daniel Opdyke and ex-police officer Joshua Hartfield were each charged with conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, according to a news release from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. […]

All six appeared with their attorneys in Rankin County court Monday, shackled at the wrists and wearing prison jumpsuits. The names of the county jails in which they are being held were covered by duct tape.

The former officers pleaded guilty August 3 to federal charges in the case, in which US prosecutors said the former officers kicked down the door of a home in Braxton, Mississippi, where the Black men were living and assaulted them for two hours.

Read more about the case in the original article.

Explore this virtual exhibit to learn more about a police officer from 1940 who similarly abused his power.

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