More Cops in Mississippi’s Racist, Torturous ‘Goon Squad’ Sentenced

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

More of the white Mississippi officers involved in viciously torturing and framing two Black men as part of their so-called “Goon Squad” has been sentenced for their vigilante-style violence.

Former Rankin County Deputy Daniel Opdyke, 28, was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison Wednesday for his role in torturing and violently abusing Eddie Terrell Parker and Michael Corey Jenkins.

According to the Associated Press, Opdyke was in tears when he appeared in court this morning, calling himself a “monster” for all that he had done.

“The weight of my actions and the harm I’ve caused will haunt me every day,” Opdyke told Parker and Jenkins. “I wish I could take away your suffering.”

Later on Wednesday, former Rankin County Deputy Christian Dedmon was sentenced to a whopping 40 years behind bars, NPR reported.

On Tuesday, former Rankin County Deputy Hunter Elward, 31, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the scheme, including shooting Jenkins in the mouth in a mock execution. He was the first of the six members of the self-proclaimed “Goon Squad” who met his judicial fate after pleading guilty in August.

Elward made an attempt to apologize to Parker and Jenkins before he left the courtroom Tuesday, claiming he was haunted by visions of their faces at night.

“I see you every night, and I can’t go back and do what’s right,” he told the victims. “I am so sorry for what I did.”

Parker accepted Elward’s expression of regret, while Jenkins brushed it off and said if Elward hadn’t been “caught, he would still be doing the same thing,” according to The New York Times.

Also on Tuesday, former Rankin County Jeffrey Middleton, 46—and the most senior cop of the bunch—was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison, the Associated Press reported. During his court apology, he said he would never forgive himself “for failing to protect innocent victims and [his] family.”

Ex-Mississippi Cop Sentenced to 20 Years For Racist Torture of Two Black Men

In January 2023, a white caller made a late-night complaint to the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office that two Black men were allegedly staying at a white woman’s house in Braxton, part of the Jackson-metro area, according to the Associated Press. Then-deputy Brett McAlpin alerted then-deputy Christian Dedmon, and they gathered other “Goon Squad” members—Dedmon, Opdyke, then-deputy Brett McAlpin, and then-Richland police officer Richland police officer Joshua Hartfield—to investigate.

Without a warrant, the “Goon Squad” burst into the home of Parker and Jenkins and immediately began a ring of torture. The officers handcuffed the Black men; poured milk, alcohol, and chocolate syrup all over them, and then made the men strip their clothes. Parker and Jenkins then were forced to clean up the mess, while the “Goon Squad” yelled racial slurs and shocked them with stun guns.

Officers admitted that they also used sex toys and other objects to abuse Parker and Jenkins.

Elward confessed that he placed a gun in Jenkins’ mouth, but claimed the shooting was an accident.

In an effort to hide what they had done, the “Goon Squad” attempted to cover up the mayhem by planting a gun and methamphetamine in the house to frame Parker and Jenkins, the Associated Press reported.

Lexington Police Department in Mississippi Sued Again Over Racism, Abuse

Parker and Jenkins had faced false criminal charges until the officers were fired in July, local outlet WAPT reported.

“They tried to take my manhood away from me,” Jenkins said in court Tuesday, according to The New York Times. “I don’t ever think I’ll be the person I was.”

The gunshot shattered Jenkins’ jaw and caused a lacerated tongue. He still has trouble eating and speaking, his lawyer has said, and has issues performing as a musician, according to the Associated Press.

Former officers Hartfield and McAlpin are expected to be sentenced Thursday. All six officers pleaded guilty in August.

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