Six white former Mississippi police officers have been charged with violating the federal civil rights of two black men whom they allegedly beat and sexually assaulted before shooting one in the mouth, the Associated Press reported.
The five former Rankin County sheriff’s deputies and another officer appeared in federal court Thursday, according to the outlet, which obtained the unsealed indictment. The Justice Department was scheduled to hold a press conference on the charges in Jackson, Mississippi, on Thursday evening.
The two black men, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, say officers broke into a home without a warrant on January 24, beat them, assaulted them with a sex toy and repeatedly shocked them with Tasers for about 90 minutes. . A deputy then placed a gun in Jenkins’ mouth and fired, the men say.
The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation into the incident in February.
An Associated Press investigation in March found that several deputies involved in the episode were also linked to at least four violent encounters with black men since 2019 that left two dead and another with lasting injuries. Deputies accepted into the Sheriff’s Office’s Special Response Team – a tactical unit whose members receive advanced training – were involved in each of the four encounters.
Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said in June that all officers involved had been fired or resigned.
Jenkins and Parker filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Rankin County that same month, seeking $400 million in damages.