(CNN) — Federal charges have been filed against six former Mississippi law enforcement officers related to the torture of two Black men.
The charges include conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice, according to online federal court records.
Former Rankin County Sheriff’s Department deputy Hunter Elward faces the most serious of charges – discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. Court documents name the other officers charged as Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, Christian Dedmon, Daniel Opdyke and Joshua Hartfield.
The law enforcement officers “called themselves ‘The Goon Squad’ because of their willingness to use excessive force and not to report it,” according to a federal charging document.
The incident occurred on January 24 in Braxton, Mississippi, just southeast of Jackson. It came to light after two men, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, filed a federal civil lawsuit. Many of the claims in the lawsuit were reflected in the federal charging document.
The two men, who are Black, say six White law enforcement officers entered the home they were in and tortured them for nearly two hours, culminating with Jenkins being shot in the mouth.
“On behalf of our clients Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, Black Lawyers for Justice thanks the United States Department of Justice for the historic legal results choices achieved today against,” Malik Shabazz, the lead attorney for the victims, told CNN.
“I have never, nor has any of the experienced attorneys that I work with have ever encountered such a malicious and sadistic and egregious case,” Shabazz told CNN in an interview last month.
“Justice is what it all boils down to. I’m just like them, you know, whether they in uniform or not,” Eddie Parker told CNN in an interview last month.
The Department of Justice has scheduled a news conference for 5 p.m. ET, according to a news release.
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