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U.S. former officer given 20 years in jail for role in torture of Black men

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A former police officer was sentenced on Tuesday to about 20 years in jail for his part in torturing two African American men in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi last year, local media reported.

U.S. District Judge Tom Lee handed down a 241-month sentence to Hunter Elward, a former deputy of a sheriff and member of a self-described “Goon Squad,” calling Elward’s crimes “egregious and despicable.”

Lee is also due to sentence five other former law enforcement officers who admitted to subjecting Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker to numerous acts of racist torture after a neighbor complained that the men were staying in a home with a white woman, according to an NBC News report.

On Jan. 24, 2023, the group of six white men, who called themselves the Goon Squad, burst into a home in Braxton, the majority-white Rankin County in Mississippi, without a warrant and assaulted Jenkins and Parker with stun guns, a sex toy and other objects. Elward admitted to shoving a gun into Jenkins’ mouth and firing in a “mock execution” that went awry, said the report.

Months before federal prosecutors announced charges in August 2023, an investigation by The Associated Press linked some of the deputies to at least four violent encounters with Black men since 2019 that left two dead and another with lasting injuries.


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