6 Mississippi ‘Goon Squad’ officers sentenced to 15 to 45 years on state charges for torture of 2 Black men


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By Maria Piñero, Marlene Lenthang and Doha Madani, NBC News

The white officers pleaded guilty in the brutal attack on Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker in January 2023.

Former Rankin County sheriff’s deputy Hunter Elward, right, appears in the Rankin County Circuit Court in Brandon, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The six former Mississippi law enforcement officers who tortured and abused two Black men in a racist attack were sentenced on Wednesday to 15 to 45 years in prison on state charges. 

The men — former Rankin County Sheriff’s deputies Brett Morris McAlpin, 53; Christian Dedmon, 29; Jeffrey Middleton, 46; Hunter Elward, 31; and Daniel Opdyke, 28′ and a former police officer from the city of Richland, Joshua Hartfield, 32 — had pleaded guilty to state charges in August.

McAlpin, Middleton, and Opdyke were sentenced to serve 20 years; Dedmon to 25 years; Elward to 45 years; and Hartfield to 15 years in federal penitentiaries. The sentences will be served concurrently with their federal sentences, and all were ordered to pay $6,431 within two years of release, and permanently surrender their law enforcement certificates.

Prosecutors said the white officers had nicknamed themselves the “Goon Squad” due to their willingness to use excessive force and cover up their brutal attack on Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker in January 2023.

In the attack, the men verbally abused Jenkins and Parker, beat them, assaulted them with stun guns and a sex toy, and one of them shot Jenkins in the mouth in a “mock execution.”

The men had also pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with the assault and were sentenced to federal prison terms of 10 to 40 years. 

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Learn more about their sentences in this Breaking News article.

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