A group of six former Mississippi law enforcement officers referred to as the “Goon Squad,” have admitted their guilt about civil rights violations stemming from a racially motivated attack on two African American individuals during a residential operation, CBS News reported.
Former Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Guilty Over Racist Assault
The Mississippi law enforcement officers, five former Rankin County sheriff’s deputies, and an ex-Richland police officer were involved in a brutal attack that included the use of a stun gun, beating, and racial slurs against the victims.
The incident occurred on January 24, when the Mississippi law enforcement officers entered the home without a warrant and subjected the two men, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, to horrific abuse over 90 minutes. One of the officers shot Jenkins in the mouth, causing severe injuries. Instead of providing medical attention, the officers attempted to cover up their misconduct by planting and tampering with evidence.
The Mississippi law enforcement officers had targeted the home because of a White neighbor’s complaint that Black people were staying there. They referred to themselves as the “Goon Squad” due to their willingness to use excessive force and not report it.
Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed outrage over the Mississippi law enforcement officers’ actions, stating that they had violated the civil rights of the citizens they were supposed to protect. The Justice Department launched a civil rights probe in response to the incident, leading to the officers’ arrests and subsequent firings.
Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers
Jenkins and Parker, the individuals who suffered from the incident, have initiated a federal lawsuit based on civil rights claims against Rankin County, pursuing $400 million in compensatory damages. The guilty pleas by the former law enforcement officers bring some accountability to their egregious actions, but the impact of the assault on the victims remains profound.
While the firing of the deputies has been celebrated as a step toward justice, their actions have exposed a deep-rooted problem that must be addressed within law enforcement agencies. The case highlights the importance of holding officers accountable for their misconduct and ensuring that systemic issues are addressed to prevent such tragedies in the future.