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The Mississippi sheriff’s department reported Tuesday that fired officers who were involved in the torture and rape of two African-American menof which one he was shot in the mouth by a law enforcement officer and nearly lost his life.
The two men, Michael Jenkins, 32, and Eddie Parker, 35, filed a $400 million federal lawsuit this month against the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department. The lawsuit describes the officers’ alleged actions as “one of the worst and most bizarre incidents of police misconduct in United States history.”
Due to recent developments, including findings during our internal investigation, all agents still employed by this department have been laid offSheriff Bryan Bailey said Tuesday, reading from a prepared statement, while declining to say how many deputies were fired.
“We understand that the alleged actions of deputies have eroded the public’s trust in our department. Please be assured that we will work diligently to restore that trust,” added Bailey, who is named in the lawsuit.
The FBI, the Department of Justice and the US Attorney’s Office for Southern Mississippi have opened a federal civil rights investigation.
Jenkins and Parker, who lived together at the time of the alleged assault, claimed in the federal lawsuit that officers entered their home without cause or warning. The officers beat them, choked them, stunned them, raped them, and attacked them with racial slurs.say the men in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that the officers hurled racial slurs at the men and angrily accused them of dating white women. They allegedly handcuffed and beat the men before Tasering them 20 to 30 times. “in a sadistic competition with each other over which Taser would be more effective when fired at these two victims,” according to court documents.
The officers then turned the two men on their backs and poured water into their faces in an effort to drown them, before sexually assaulting them with a sex toy.
The attack ended when an officer put a gun to Jenkins’ mouth and fired while handcuffedaccording to the demand.
The shot allegedly shattered Jenkins’s jaw and severely lacerated his tongue. Several of Jenkins’ arteries were badly damaged, and he nearly died.
While the sheriff’s department did not say how many deputies were relieved, a spokesman revealed that everyone at the location was fired after the internal investigationaccording to NBC News.
The lawsuit said there were six officers at the scene, though it only named three, including Deputy Hunter Elward.
Elward, the officer accused of shooting Jenkins, was previously involved in the death of Damien Cameron, a 29-year-old black man whose neighbor accused him of vandalism and called police in 2021, the department said.
The lawsuit also stated that Bailey, the sheriff, “directly engages in acts of excessive force with the officers he supervises.”