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White Rankin Deputies ‘Tortured’ Handcuffed Black Men, Shot One, Lawyers Allege

Rankin County sheriff’s deputies “tortured” and subjected two Black men to “waterboarding techniques,” before shooting one of them in the mouth while he was in handcuffs, attorneys for the men alleged in a notice of claims they delivered to authorities Wednesday.

The document alleged that “six white sheriff’s deputies” raided a private residence where Michael Jenkins, 32, and Eddie Terrell Parker, 35, stayed at 135 Conerly Road in Braxton, Miss., “without warning or warrant” in what the Rankin County sheriff later called a narcotics investigation.

The FBI and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident. The Rankin County Sheriff’s office did not reply to the Mississippi Free Press’ request for comments following calls on Tuesday and Wednesday. WLBT published a report Wednesday night, which included a statement from the sheriff.

“Multiple suspects were taken into custody, and we contacted the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations to investigate the actions of our deputies,” Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said in the statement. “We are fully cooperating with that ongoing investigation and will continue to do so.

“Rest assured, if any deputy or suspect involved in this incident is found to have broken the law, he will be held accountable in accordance with the law.”

‘Six Officers Calling Them N–ger’

On Wednesday, the men’s lead counsel, Malik Zulu Shabazz, read from the notice at Backyard Burgers near the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “Without presenting any warrant information, with no warrant, the officers forced their way into the residence” Shabazz of the Black Lawyers for Justice said.  “Then these deputies immediately subdued and handcuffed these men.”

“At no point did Michael Jenkins or Eddie Terrell Parker resist the Rankin County deputies in any way,” he said. “What ensued, after these two men were handcuffed and they were detained, what happened after that was an approximately 90-minute long intimidation and torture session where excessive force was used gratuitously on the handcuffed men.”

Shabazz, who is the founder and national director of Black Lawyers For Justice, said the deputies repeatedly punched, kicked, tased, and abused both men while they were in handcuffs.


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