Another step towards justice was prevalent in one of the more recent injustices in this country.
Six former Mississippi law enforcement officers pleaded guilty in state court on Monday to charges related to torturing two Black men in January, according to NBC News. All six have already admitted guilt to those crimes in federal court.
According to the prosecutors, who are all white, the former officers coined themselves the “Goon Squad” because of using excessive force and “to cover up their maleficence," including the attack that ended with one victim, Michael Corey Jenkins, shot in the mouth.
The prosecutor recommended just five years of prison time Monday on the first charge, and five on the second, with the sentences running concurrently, which means they would be out after five years.
The six will face federal sentencing on Nov. 3.
Back on Jan. 24, the officers forcefully entered the house without a warrant, handcuffing and assaulting Jenkins, as well as his friend, Eddie Terrell Parker with stun guns, a sex toy and other objects. Amid the hearing Monday, the prosecution said the former officers kicked the doors of the victims’ home and “immediately began a 90-minute torture session during which they told the men to stop taking advantage of a white woman who lived there,” the prosecutor said.
Those involved mocked the two men with racial slurs throughout the situation, shocking them with electricity volts via tasers, assaulting them with a vibrator, pouring chocolate and syrup over their faces and then devising a cover-up scheme following a game of Russian Roulette that went bad, according to the prosecution.
The six former officers tried to finagle a scheme in which they would plant drugs and a gun on one of the men, concocting a story that Jenkins was shot “because he resisted and went for an officer’s gun, justifying the shooting, prosecutors said.
"It's a long time coming," Parker, one of the victims, said on the courthouse steps. "We're not sitting here fighting for nothing. We're fighting for all ... Justice was served."
Admitting they are criminals are five former Rankin County deputy sheriffs: Brett McAlpin, Hunter Elward, Christian Dedmon, Jeffrey Middleton and Daniel Opdyke, as well as a police officer from the city of Richland, Joshua Harfield.
The civil rights charges followed an investigation from The Associated Press, revealing some of the officers were linked to at least four other violent encounters with Black men since 2019, leaving two dead and another with lasting injuries. The Justice Department launched a civil rights probe last February.