40 years for Mississippi cop who tortured and raped man in own home

Rankin County sheriff's deputy Christian Dedmon is the fourth member of the department's "Goon Squad" to be sentenced in the beatings, torture, rape and attempted murder that took place when they terrorized Eddie Parker and Michael Jenkins, two black men, in a January 2023 raid. And his sentence, at 40 years, is the longest yet.

Dedmon was part of a squad of White Mississippi law enforcement officers who raided a home in Braxton without a warrant, subjected the two Black men – Eddie Parker and Michael Jenkins – to racist vitriol, used Tasers on them after they had already been handcuffed, beat them with various objects and then shot Jenkins in the mouth.

All six former officers pleaded guilty in August to federal charges of conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice. They include Daniel Opdyke; his fellow former Rankin County sheriff's deputies Dedmon, Hunter Elward, Jeffrey Middleton and Brett McAlpin; and former Richland police officer Joshua Hartfield. Each of the deputies resigned or were fired.

For the first time this week, Parker spoke before the judge, giving his victim impact statement at Dedmon's hearing. He told CNN before the hearing: "I have to, because Dedmon was the most abusive one."

Federal prosecutors said Dedmon was "the most sexually perverted" of the officers and the most egregious offender. One of the officers was sentenced to 20 years, a second to 17 1/2 years, and a third to 17 years. Two more will be sentenced today.

After the hearing, attorneys and relatives of the victims praised the sentence. "This is a remarkable and historic moment for the state of Mississippi and the United States of America and victims of police brutality and police abuse," the victims' attorney Malik Shabazz told reporters.

Mississippi, same as it ever was.