Multiple deputies have been fired from a Mississippi sheriff's department after two Black men filed a federal lawsuit accusing them of sexual assault, beatings, and torture.
Michael Jenkins, 32, and Eddie Parker, 35, filed a $400 million federal lawsuit against the Rankin County Sheriff's Department earlier this month, describing the cases as “one of the worst and most bizarre incidents of police misconduct in United States history.”
Rankin County is 74 percent white and 23 percent Black, according to census data. The state has long grappled with institutions of white supremacy and violent behavior from law enforcement against racial minorities.
Jenkins and Parker lived together at the time of the incident, when they said officers entered without just cause or notice. The men claimed that deputies then beat, waterboarded, electrically shocked, sexually assaulted, and berated them with racial slurs.
The men say they were handcuffed and shocked with tasers 20 to 30 times as officers competed “in a sadistic contest with each other as to which Taser would be most effective when fired against these two victims."
The officers then used sex toys to assault them, before holding guns to their heads and threatening to kill them. According to the lawsuit, a deputy put a gun into Jenkins' mouth and pulled the triggered, which shattered his jaw and severely lacerated his tongue. Several arteries were also critically damaged, almost leading to Jenkins' death.
The sheriff’s department did not say how many deputies were fired in response to the incident, but a spokesperson said all that were present at the scene have been let go following the internal investigation.
“Due to recent developments, including findings during our internal investigation, those deputies that are still employed by this department have all been terminated,” Sheriff Bryan Bailey, who is named in the lawsuit, told reporters Tuesday via NBC. “We understand that the alleged actions of the deputies have eroded the public’s trust in our department. Rest assured that we will work diligently to restore that trust.”
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