作者 Alice Tao
发布时间 2023-08-15 13:50:28


On the evening of January 24, a group text message reached three sheriff's deputies in Rankin County, Mississippi, from a fellow deputy named Christian Dedmon. The message discussed a mission involving a property in Braxton, approximately 30 miles south of Jackson. The task was prompted by a complaint received by the office's chief investigator, Brett McAlpin. The events of that night, as detailed in a federal charging document, involved McAlpin's White neighbor reporting suspicious behavior involving several Black men at a White woman's residence.

Dedmon informed the deputies—Hunter Elward, Jeffrey Middleton, and Daniel Opdyke—that they were heading to the Braxton property, advising them to be cautious of potential surveillance cameras. He instructed them to knock on the door if cameras were present, but otherwise, they were permitted to forcefully enter without a warrant. Additionally, Dedmon conveyed through text that they could use "excessive force" in areas not visible in mugshots.

Accompanying them was off-duty Richland police officer Joshua Hartfield. The five men arrived at the property in separate cars, with McAlpin observing from a distance. After avoiding a front door camera, Dedmon, Opdyke, and Elward broke into the carport entrance, while Hartfield kicked open the back door. Without a warrant, the officers encountered two Black men—Eddie Parker and Michael Jenkins—at the residence. Parker was residing there to provide assistance to the homeowner, and Jenkins was temporarily staying.

Over the ensuing two hours, Parker and Jenkins endured severe violence inflicted by the six White officers, which culminated in Jenkins being shot in the mouth. The grim details of their ordeal, along with the exchanged text messages, were presented in a federal court document filed on July 31. As a result of these events, the six officers faced a total of 13 felony charges, all connected to what the Justice Department referred to as "the torture and physical abuse" inflicted upon the victims. Subsequently, the officers, who had either been fired or resigned following the incident, pleaded guilty to all charges in federal court on the previous Thursday.

Some of the officers involved went by the moniker "The Goon Squad," emblematic of their willingness to employ excessive force while concealing their actions, as outlined in the federal document. In addition to federal charges, the former officers faced state charges. All six officers were indicted on conspiracy charges related to obstructing justice, with four facing first-degree obstruction of justice charges, two charged with home invasion, and one facing an aggravated assault charge. Their anticipated guilty pleas are part of a plea deal set to be made on August 14, as stated by Mississippi Deputy Attorney General Mary Helen Wall.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, hailing from the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, expressed that no individual should undergo the kind of traumatic and violent acts inflicted by these law enforcement officers.



  1月24日晚,密西西比州兰金县的三名警长助手接到同一班次的另一名副警长克里斯蒂安·戴德蒙(Christian Dedmon)的群发短信:“你们能不能执行一项任务?”戴德蒙通知他的同事亨特·埃尔沃德(Hunter Elward)、杰弗里·米德尔顿(Jeffrey Middleton)和丹尼尔·奥普代克(Daniel Opdyke),他们要前往布拉克斯顿(Braxton)的一处房产,距杰克逊(Jackson)约30英里。这项任务是由办公室的首席调查员布雷特·麦卡尔皮(Brett McAlpin)接到的投诉引发的。根据联邦起诉文件的详细内容,当晚发生的事件涉及麦卡尔皮的白人邻居报告称,一名白人女子的住所有几名黑人男子,存在可疑行为。

  戴德蒙告知副警长亨特·埃尔沃德(Hunter Elward)、杰弗里·米德尔顿(Jeffrey Middleton)和丹尼尔·奥普代克(Daniel Opdyke),他们正在前往布拉克斯顿的这处房产,建议他们对潜在的监控摄像头保持警惕。他指示如果摄像头存在,他们应该敲门,但如果没有,他们可以在没有搜查令的情况下强行进入。此外,戴德蒙在短信中传达,他们可以在照片中看不到的区域使用“过度武力”。

  同行的还有休假的里奇兰警察官员乔舒亚·哈特菲尔德(Joshua Hartfield)。五名男子分别驾驶不同的汽车抵达该房产,麦卡尔皮则从远处观察。在避开前门摄像头后,戴德蒙、奥普代克和埃尔沃德闯入车库入口,而哈特菲尔德则踢开后门。在没有搜查令的情况下,这些警员在住所内遇到了两名黑人男子——埃迪·帕克(Eddie Parker)和迈克尔·詹金斯(Michael Jenkins)。帕克是住在那里帮助房屋主人的,而詹金斯则是临时居住。


  其中一些涉案警员自称为“Goon小队”,这反映了他们愿意在掩盖行动的同时使用过度武力,正如联邦文件中所述。除了联邦指控,这些前警员还面临州指控。这六名警员都被控参与阻碍司法的阴谋,其中四人被指控一级阻碍司法,两人被指控入室行窃,一人被指控重伤。预计他们将在8月14日作为认罪协议的一部分认罪,密西西比州副检察长玛丽·海伦·沃尔(Mary Helen Wall)表示。

  司法部民权司副助理检察长克里斯汀·克拉克(Kristen Clarke)表示,不应该有任何个体承受这些执法人员所施加的创伤和暴力行为。

Alice Tao 整理报道


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