Rankin County Sheriff’s ‘Goon Squad’ Unveiled After Decades of Abuse

Rankin County Sheriff’s 'Goon Squad' Unveiled After Decades of Abuse

There is a historical, factual, and irrefutable context behind the protest phrase “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards).

Investigative journalism done by reporters for Mississippi Today in conjunction with the New York Times has uncovered some disturbing-yet-completely-unsurprising corruption inside the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department. Earlier this year, on a case where two Black men, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker were, tied up, beaten, tasered, and waterboarded for 90 minutes by a group of five sheriff’s deputies, Hunter Elward, Christian Dedmon, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, and Daniel Opdyke. Jenkins was ultimately shot in the head after one of the abusive pigs shoved a pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

That case made national news and put a white hot spotlight on the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department by the Department of Justice. Apparently, this type of torture was just a typical day’s work for the RCSO. In fact, Mississppi Today’s investigation of hundreds of pages of court files, police records, and interviews revealed egregious abuses that go back to 2004.

A shortlist of these offenses include the 2018 tasering of Robert Jones while he lay in a water filled ditch before choking him with a stick down his throat. That same year, Mitchell Hobson was choked and waterboarded and beaten at the home of another deputy from a nearby county. Reporters spoke to 50 people who either saw or were subjected to RSCO abuse, their filed complaints went ignored by the department brass.

Taser logs account for a major part of the investigative reported which shows that over the past decade, deputies fired their non-lethal weapons 5 times in less than an hour 32 different times for well over 30 seconds a piece. It was noted that 30 seconds is twice the amount suggested by taser manufacturers.

“This is not typical Taser use,” said Seth Stoughton, faculty director of the Excellence in Policing & Public Safety program at the University of South Carolina. “There’s just no justification for that.”

Mississippi has a long history of killing and abusing Black folks and the bloody tradition continues to this day. Word to Deontay Wilder. We highly suggest you read the entire investigative report in detail. It will anger you but hopefully it will also motivate you to pay attention to your local politics and news.

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