A federal civil rights investigation has been opened into an incident involving Rankin County Sheriff’s Deputies.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Jackson Field Office announced last Wednesday that an incident involving two men who claim to have been tortured by Rankin County officers is being thoroughly looked into by multiple agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi.
The investigation was launched after a January 23 incident in which 32-year-old Michael Corey Jenkins was shot by a deputy during a nighttime raid.
According to Jenkins’ attorney, Malik Shabazz, Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, both Black males, were in a Braxton home when six white deputies forcibly entered without presenting a warrant.
Shabazz claims that the officers immediately restrained the two men and proceeded to torture them by means of kicking, punching, and water boarding for nearly an hour and a half. The officers are also accused of using racial slurs against the two men.
In addition, Shabazz says one officer placed his firearm into Jenkins’ mouth and pulled the trigger with intent to kill the 32-year-old. Jenkins was reportedly hospitalized for multiple weeks following the shooting.
On January 25, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations stated that the officers were conducting a drug investigation when they entered the home and claimed that the deputy who shot Jenkins did so after a firearm was displayed toward the officers.
Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey released the following statement regarding the investigation:
“Multiple suspects were taken into custody and we contacted the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations to investigate the actions of our deputies. 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.”