The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
NewsOne Featured Video
Michael Jenkins, alleged police brutality victim in Rankin County, Mississippi

Source: Black Lawyers for Justice

UPDATED: 9:30 a.m. ET, March 22

On Thursday U.S. District Judge Tom Lee completed his last round of sentencing for the six Mississippi ex-officers who brutally tortured and sexually assaulted Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker during an incident in January 2023.

According to AP, Judge Lee sentenced Brett McAlpin, 53, to about 27 years behind bars and dished out a 10-year sentence for Joshua Hartfield, 32, who was the only officer who was not a member of the infamous “Goon Squad.”

During sentencing, McAlpin seemed remorseful and offered an apology to the court, although he did not look at the victims when he spoke.

“This was all wrong, very wrong. It’s not how people should treat each other and even more so, it’s not how law enforcement should treat people,” McAlpin said to the court. “I’m really sorry for being a part of something that made law enforcement look so bad.”

After sentencing, Attorney General Merrick Garland also condemned the actions of the ex-officers charged. 

“The depravity of the crimes committed by these defendants cannot be overstated,” Garland told AP on Thursday.

All the men involved in the torturing of Jenkins and Parker have received their prison sentences.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Tom Lee handed down lengthy prison sentences for two of the Mississippi ex-officers who also tortured the two Black men.

According to AP, 29-year-old Christian Dedmon received a 40-year sentence and 28-year-old Daniel Opdyke received a 17.5-year sentence.

On Tuesday, Judge Lee handed down a 241-month sentence for former officer Hunter Elward, 17.5 years to 46-year-old Jeffrey Middleton calling their actions “egregious and despicable.”

“It’s what the defendant deserves,” said Judge Lee during sentencing. “It’s what the community and the defendant’s victims deserve.”


In August 2023, Brett McAlpin, Christian Dedmon, Jeffrey Middleton, Hunter Elward, Daniel Opdyke and Joshua Hartfield all pleaded guilty to federal charges including conspiracy against rights, obstructions of justice, deprivation of rights under color of law, discharge of a firearm under a crime of violence, and conspiracy to obstruct justice after they brutalized, tortured and sexually assaulted Jenkins and Parker.

As previously reported by NewsOne, on Jan. 24, 2023, multiple white police officers in Braxton, Mississippi, falsely accused two Black men of selling drugs and “dating white women” before handcuffing and brutally torturing them, including shooting one of them in the mouth.

Michael Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker were in a private residence in the village of Braxton on Jan. 24 when the location was raided by six white officers without a warrant, Black Lawyers for Justice said in a press release emailed to NewsOne.

The officers allegedly accused Jenkins and Parker of “dating white women” and “selling drugs” — allegations attorneys have denied — before handcuffing them. After they were restrained, the officers allegedly “repeatedly” brutally beat and kicked the men while using a Taser on both and threatening to kill them. A witness even described the officers participating in something of a Taser contest with Jenkins and Parker being the targets, Jenkins’ mother said.

During interviews with the AP, both Jenkins and Parker confirmed that police stunned them with tasers repeatedly over roughly 90 minutes. They also forced the two men to lie on their backs while officers poured milk over their faces. One officer would eventually put a gun in Jenkins’ mouth pulling the trigger, leaving him a broken jaw and with wounds that required parts of his tongue to be sewn back together.

Police allege Jenkins was shot after pointing a weapon at them, but Jenkins’ attorney says his client never had a gun. 

AP also found that many of the officers involved in the incident were a part of the sheriff’s office’s Special Response Team, an “elite” police unit that draws similar comparisons to the SCORPION unit involved in the beating and death of Tyre Nichols.

In July of last year, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker spoke to CNN about their horrific incident with police. 

During the interview, Eddie Parker relived the attack with CNN as he stood in the very spot he was attacked. 

“It’s hard to stand right here, knowing what happened right here, he told CNN. “Justice is what it all boils down to. I’m just like them, you know, whether they in uniform or not.”

The Mississippi native continued, “I crawled here to this spot and then they, uh, started beating me here and tasting me and you can see, you know, blood spots and all my blood spots there.”

Michael Jenkins, who was shot in the tongue during the indecent, could barely speak because of his injuries.  

“It hurts. And I’m embarrassed,” Jenkins said when asked about his difficulties speaking.

When he was asked if anyone from the police department reached out to him and his family to apologize, all he could do was shake his head no. 

According to AP, Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey called their horrifically violent crimes the worst instance of police brutality he has seen in his career, and he said he had been lied to by the officers under his command and that he first learned about what they did when he read unsealed court documents. But AP noted that “some of the deputies, including McAlpin and Elward, had worked under Bailey for years and been sued several times for alleged misconduct.”

An AP investigation “also linked some of the deputies to at least four violent encounters with Black men since 2019 that left two dead and another with lasting injuries.”


It Hurts. And I’m Embarrassed’: Black Man Tortured By Mississippi Cops Will Never Speak The Same Again

6 Mississippi Ex-Cops Plead Guilty To Brutalizing, Torturing And Sexually Assaulting 2 Black Men

Rest In Power: Notable Black People Who Have Died This Year
House Democrats Hold Press Conference On INVEST In America Act
36 photos