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Rankin County Sheriff fires deputies accused of beating, torturing two men



Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins holds his neck as he attempts to answer questions from his attorney during a press conference near the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Jenkins' lawyer claims that Jenkins and Terrell Parker were assaulted by Rankin County sheriff deputies, which left him with serious injuries. Credit: Eric Shelton/Mississippi Today

Rankin County deputies accused of beating and torturing two men earlier this year have been fired, Sheriff Bryan Bailey announced Tuesday.

“We understand that the alleged actions of these deputies has eroded the public’s trust in our department,” Bailey said in a prepared statement shared during a news conference.

“Rest assured that we will work diligently to restore that trust.”

The night of Jan. 24, six deputies conducting a drug investigation raided a Braxton home where Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker were living. In a $400 million lawsuit against the county and sheriff’s department, the men said they were unlawfully imprisoned and tortured for 90 minutes, culminating in a deputy placing his service weapon in Jenkins’ mouth and pulling the trigger.

Bailey said the deputies were initially placed on administrative leave pending findings from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Recent developments and findings from an internal investigation led to the deputies’ termination Friday, he said.

The sheriff did not name the deputies, but the lawsuit identifies three of them as Hunter Elward, Brett McAlpin and Christian Dedmon.

The county, sheriff and other plaintiffs in the lawsuit have not yet responded to the lawsuit complaint.

On Tuesday, Bailey said actions have been taken to ensure the sheriff’s office serves and protects the public and ensure that all citizens’ rights are protected.

Those actions include a detailed analysis of policy, procedure and training of staff. The department has also hired a full-time compliance officer to monitor daily operations and ensure compliance with state and federal law, he said.

“It is my privilege to serve the citizens of Rankin County as Sheriff and it has been my daily goal to run one of the best departments in the State of Mississippi,” Bailey said in the statement.

“I believe in my heart that this department remains one of the best departments in our state and I am committed to doing everything in my power to keep this department on a correct path moving forward.”

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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