Mississippi "Goon Squad" cops sentenced to state prison terms of 15 to 45 years for racist attack

Six white former police officers received lengthy state prison sentences for a racist 2023 attack on two Black men

By Charles R. Davis

Deputy News Editor

Published April 10, 2024 12:41PM (EDT)

Police lights and crime scene tape (Getty Images/Ajax9)
Police lights and crime scene tape (Getty Images/Ajax9)

Six white ex-cops in Mississippi who pleaded guilty to attacking and torturing a pair of Black men were sentenced Wednesday to state prison terms ranging from 15 to 45 years.

The men, who were active members of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department when they committed their crimes, had previously received similar federal sentences, the Associated Press noted. They will serve their terms concurrently.

“The state criminal sentencing is important because historically, the state of Mississippi has lagged behind or ignored racial crimes and police brutality against Blacks, and the Department of Justice has had to lead the way,” Malik Shabazz, an attorney representing the two victims, said Wednesday.

The attack on Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker took place in January 2023, when the officers – members of a self-styled “Goon Squad” – burst into their home in Braxton, Mississippi, without a warrant, after receiving a report that the victims were living there with a white woman, NBC News reported.

At one point, one of the officers staged a mock execution, jamming a gun into Jenkins’ mouth and firing twice – the second time releasing a bullet that broke the victim’s jaw.

Officers also beat and sexually abused the men. The incident garnered national attention given the brazen, racist nature of the assault.

“I never knew the ones that were sworn to protect and serve would be the ones that [I] needed protection from," Parker said in a statement, as reported by CNN. "My life was not perfect, but it was mine. I doubt I will ever be able to experience it again.”

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