– Robert Jones – Mitchell Hobson – Rick Loveday – Michael Jenkins – Eddie Parker : “Pattern of Violence: Investigating Brutal Arrests by Rankin County Deputies in Mississippi”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : In a shocking exposé, The New York Times and the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting at Mississippi Today have uncovered a pattern of police brutality and abuse of power within the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department in Mississippi. The investigation, part of a series by The Times’s Local Investigations Fellowship, sheds light on the rampant misconduct and violence perpetrated by a group of sheriff’s deputies over nearly two decades.

According to the report, these deputies, known as the “Goon Squad,” targeted impoverished neighborhoods in central Mississippi, barging into homes in the middle of the night and accusing residents of drug dealing. They would then proceed to torture and assault these individuals, often for hours, in an attempt to extract confessions or information. The violence inflicted upon victims was described as brutal and meant to incite fear.

The investigation documented numerous incidents of abuse, including shocking and waterboarding victims, ramming sticks down their throats, and even shooting one individual in the mouth. These acts of violence were carried out with impunity, as department leaders turned a blind eye to the misconduct.

The reporting also revealed a history of complaints and lawsuits filed against the department, detailing encounters with violence and torture. However, victims alleged that their pleas for help were ignored, and Sheriff Bryan Bailey failed to take any action against the deputies responsible.

The investigation identified 20 deputies present during these incidents, including Christian Dedmon, a former narcotics detective involved in eight incidents, and Brett McAlpin, a former chief investigator involved in at least 13 arrests. Shockingly, McAlpin was named investigator of the year in 2013, despite being implicated in multiple lawsuits and complaints.

The report also highlighted the misuse of Tasers by deputies, with logs indicating that Tasers were used excessively and for longer durations than recommended. At least 32 times in the past decade, deputies fired their Tasers more than five times in under an hour, raising suspicions of abuse.

The findings of this investigation paint a disturbing picture of a sheriff’s department that operated with impunity, leaving entire communities terrorized and in fear of violent raids. The report has sparked calls for Sheriff Bailey’s resignation and increased scrutiny on the department’s conduct.

In response to the investigation, the department announced updated internal policies and training on federal civil rights laws. However, many remain skeptical of the department’s commitment to change, given its history of ignoring complaints and allowing deputies to continue their abusive practices.

The revelations from this investigation underscore the urgent need for accountability and reform within law enforcement agencies, particularly in rural areas where issues of misconduct often go unnoticed or unaddressed. It is crucial that steps are taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all communities and to prevent further abuses of power.

Leave a Comment