RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Civil rights organizers called on the Department of Justice to take a closer look at the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office.
They’re calling for Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey to resign after six law enforcement officers, including five former Rankin County deputies and a former Richland police officer, pled guilty to several federal charges.
Hunter Elward, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, Christian Dedmon, Daniel Opdyke and Joshua Hartfield referred to themselves as the “Good Squad” for their use of excessive force and not reporting it.
In January 2023, the six officers raided a Braxton home and assaulted Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, who are Black, with a sex toy. They used stun guns for more than 90 minutes on Jenkins and Parker.
Jenkins was shot in the mouth during the encounter.
During a news conference last week, Bailey stated that he would not resign and proclaimed his innocence.
Rankin County NAACP Branch President Angela English said the fight for justice doesn’t stop there.
“You have caused great shame to the people of Rankin County, both Black and white. You have caused a very terrible dark cloud to cover Rankin County, which will cost Rankin County taxpayers a lot of money in the long run. And I am sure that these businessmen are not happy about that. So if you really love the town, you’ll step aside,” English stated.
Jenkins and Parker filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Rankin County in June seeking $400 million in damages.
The former officers will be sentenced in November on the federal charges. They are also facing state charges in connection to the incident. The officers are expected to plead guilty to those state charges on Monday, August 14.