google-site-verification=cXrcMGa94PjI5BEhkIFIyc9eZiIwZzNJc4mTXSXtGRM Two former ‘Goon Squad’ deputies sentenced to over 37 years in prison for racist torture of black men - 360WISE MEDIA
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Two former ‘Goon Squad’ deputies sentenced to over 37 years in prison for racist torture of black men

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Two former Mississippi sheriff’s deputies have been convicted of participating in the torture of two black men after a neighbor complained that the men were in the home with a white woman.

Hunter Elward and Jeffrey Middleton were sentenced Tuesday by a federal judge in Jackson.

Elward received roughly 20 years in prison and Middleton received greater than 17 years behind bars. Four other former law enforcement officers are scheduled to begin sentencing later this week in the case.

In August, all six former officers pleaded guilty to several federal charges. They pleaded guilty to torturing Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker in January 2023.

Goon Squad, Mississippi Deputies, Hunter Elward, Christian Dedmon, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton, Daniel Opdyke, Joshua Hartfield, theGrio.com
(From top left) Former Rankin County Sheriff’s Deputies Hunter Elward, Christian Dedmon, Brett McAlpin, Jeffrey Middleton and Daniel Opdyke and former Richland Police Officer Joshua Hartfield in August 2023 appearing in Rankin County District Court in Brandon, Mississippi. (Photo / s: Rogelio V. Solis/AP, file)

Hunter Elward, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Tom Lee to 241 months in prison. The judge can be expected to sentence 4 other former officers who confessed to torture Jenkins and Parker after a neighbor complained that the men were in the home with a white woman.

Before handing down the sentence, Lee called Elward’s crimes “egregious and despicable” and said that “a sentence at the high end of the guideline range is justified – it is more than justified.” He continued: “The defendant deserves it. This is what the community and the defendant’s victims deserve.”

In January 2023, a six-person group entered a Rankin County home with no warrant and attacked Jenkins and Parker with stun guns, a sex toy and other items. Elward admitted to putting a gun in Jenkins’ mouth and firing a shot as part of a “mock execution” that went improper.

The terror began on January 24, 2023, with a racist incitement to extrajudicial violence, when a white person called Rankin County Deputy Brett McAlpin and complained that two black men were with a white woman in a house in Braxton. McAlpin told Deputy Christian Dedmon texted a bunch of white deputies who were so willing to use excessive force that they called themselves “The Goon Squad.”

Once inside, they handcuffed Jenkins and his friend Parker and poured milk, alcohol and chocolate syrup in their faces. They forced them to strip naked and take a shower together to hide the mess. They taunted the victims with racist insults and shocked them with stun guns.

After Elward shot Jenkins in the mouth, they hatched a cover-up that included planting drugs and a gun. For months, false allegations were made against Jenkins and Parker. Jenkins suffered a lacerated tongue and a broken jaw.

Michael Corey Jenkins, theGrio.com
Michael Corey Jenkins speaks outside the federal courthouse in Jackson, Missouri, Tuesday, March 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Last March, months before federal prosecutors announced charges in August, an Associated Press investigation linked some deputies to a minimum of 4 violent encounters with Black men since 2019 that left two people dead and one with everlasting injuries. damage.

Jenkins is a musician and injuries have prevented him from singing like he used to. He also said he had trouble speaking and eating. Parker said he relives the episode in his nightmares.

The two men who sat in the front row called for “the harshest of sentences”. Their lawyer, Malik Shabazz, said they were too traumatized to speak in court and skim statements on their behalf.

“I am hurt. I am devastated,” Jenkins wrote in his statement. “They tried to take away my manhood. They did unspeakable things to me and the results will last the remainder of my life.

Elward, who was wearing a dark blue jumpsuit with tape covering the name of the power where he’s staying, said before the sentencing that he wouldn’t plead guilty. He turned to address Jenkins and Parker and checked out them directly.

“I don’t desire to get too personal. I see you each night and I can not return and do what’s right,” Elward said. “I’m very sorry for what I did.”

Parker then stood up and said, “I forgive you.”

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Elward’s attorney, Joe Hollomon, said his client first witnessed Rankin County deputies turning a blind eye to misconduct in 2017.

“It has become the new norm, it has become institutional,” Hollomon said. “Hunter was privy to a culture of corruption within the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office.”

During a Tuesday speech on the University of Georgia, FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke concerning the federal investigation into “unspeakable crimes” committed by six former law enforcement officers in Mississippi.

“It is difficult to imagine a more heinous set of civil rights violations than those committed by these guys,” Wray said, according to prepared remarks. “But on the other hand, it’s hard to imagine a more important job than investigating these crimes and seeking justice for the victims.”

Elward was also convicted of participating in an assault on one other person who occurred weeks before the torture of Jenkins and Parker. On Tuesday, prosecutors identified the victim for the primary time as Alan Schmidt and reviewed his statement, which detailed what happened to him on December 4, 2022.

Schmidt said that in a traffic stop that night, Rankin County deputies charged him with possession of stolen property. They dragged him out of the automotive and beat him. Dedmon then forced him to his knees and tried to put his genitals into Schmidt’s mouth while Elward watched.

“I pray every day that I can one day forgive them and hopefully forget the humiliation and evil physical and sexual assault that I experienced,” Schmidt wrote. “I know I’m not their only victim and I pray for every victim that has happened to the members of the Thug Squad.”

The officers accused of torturing Parker and Jenkins are Elward, McAlpin, Dedmon, Jeffrey Middleton and Daniel Opdyke of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, and Joshua Hartfield, a Richland police officer. They pleaded guilty to quite a few federal and state charges.

Eddie Terrell Parker, theGrio.com
Eddie Terrell Parker speaks outside the federal courthouse in Jackson, Missouri, Tuesday, March 19, 2024. A former Mississippi sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to roughly 20 years in prison for his role in the torture of Parker and Michael Corey Jenkins in a racist attack. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

According to the federal charges, all former officers face a long time in prison. They also agreed to state court sentences really helpful by the prosecutor, starting from five to 30 years. The time served on separate state-level convictions will run concurrently with potentially longer federal sentences.

Majority-white Rankin County lies east of the state capital, Jackson, and is home to one of the very best percentages of black residents of any major U.S. city.

Officers warned Jenkins and Parker to (*37*) court documents say, referring to an area with the next concentration of black residents.

For months, Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey, whose deputies committed the crimes, said little concerning the incident. After the officers he pleaded guilty in August, Bailey said officers had gone rogue and promised to change the department. Jenkins and Parker called for his resignation and contributed $400 million civil lawsuit against the college.


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Uber is helping investigators in the case of driver Loletha Hall, who was murdered by an 81-year-old Ohio man

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Uber is helping investigators look into an account that sent a driver to an Ohio home where an 81-year-old man allegedly shot and killed a girl because he mistakenly believed she was involved in a fraud scheme targeting him, the ride-hailing company said. Wednesday.

The shooting death of Loletha Hall on March 25 is a “terrible tragedy” and the account has since been disabled, an Uber spokesman wrote in an emailed statement. “Our hearts continue to go out to Loletha’s loved ones as they mourn.”

On Monday, William J. Brock was charged with murder, felonious assault and kidnapping in reference to Hall’s death. Messages in search of comment were left with him and his attorney, Paul Kavanagh of Springfield, Ohio, on Wednesday.

In this photo from Uber dash cam video, William Brock, right, holds a gun for Uber driver Loletha Hall outside her home in South Charleston, Ohio, on March 25, 2024. Brock, 81, who authorities say fatally shot Hall, at who he thought was attempting to rob him after scam calls fooled them each was charged with murder on Monday. (Photo: Clark County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

The grand jury also found that the gun confiscated from Brock’s home, a .22-caliber revolver, was subject to forfeiture. Bronek pleaded not guilty.

Police said Brock called 911 before noon to say he had shot someone at his South Charleston home, claiming Hall was attempting to rob him. Investigators later said the driver was unaware that Brock had received a fraudulent phone call containing threats and demands for money, citing an incarcerated relative.

Hall “did not threaten or attack Mr. Brock or make any demands other than asking about the package he was sent for via Uber,” the Clark County Sheriff’s Office wrote in an April 11 news release. Police said Brock “retrieved a gun and held it at gunpoint, demanding to know the identities of the people he was talking to on the phone.”

It’s unclear what exactly the callers told Brock, but the sheriff’s office press release included a reminder, especially to older people, that law enforcement and courts don’t solicit money in exchange for bail “in the manner applicable to this case.”

“We encourage all citizens to be extremely cautious when unexpectedly coming into contact with anyone claiming to be a relative of an incarcerated person or having direct knowledge of an incarcerated relative,” the sheriff’s office warned.

In January, the FBI issued a warning about government impersonation scams in which couriers send couriers to the homes of their targets – often elderly people – to gather money or trick them into purchasing gold and other precious metals. The FBI said its Internet Crime Complaint Center noted that such activity resulted in losses of greater than $55 million in the last eight months of 2023.

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A 2021 study of older adults in the Chicago area found that when a fictitious government agency notified those who their personal data had been breached, those with low fraud awareness were particularly vulnerable.

Police say the Uber ride to Hall to choose up the package was ordered by the same person who made the fraudulent calls to Brock, or by an accomplice.

Brock is accused of taking Hall’s mobile phone and never letting her out, then shooting her as she tried to get into her vehicle. The sheriff’s office said it was investigating the male’s “initial fraudulent telephone call to Mr. Brock” and the order for a package to be delivered via the app.

Brock shot Hall twice more, suffering a minor head injury himself during the confrontation, after which called 911, police said. Hall, a Columbus resident who police said was unarmed, later died at the hospital.

He posted $200,000 bail and was released from the Clark County Jail on Wednesday. FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren of the agency’s Cincinnati office said it was aware of the murder but declined to verify or deny whether it was involved.

In the obituary, which listed her name as Lo-Letha “Letha” Toland-Hall, Hall was described as the mother of a son and stepson, a faithful member of her church and a talented cook known for her delicious pound cakes. She retired from the Ohio Regional Income Tax Agency and worked in behavioral health in school and for Uber. She studied horticulture at Ohio State and began a cleansing business.


This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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White’s former deputy will face second trial in connection with the death of Casey Goodson Jr., who was shot five times in the back

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Jason Meade, theGrio.com, Casey Goodson, Jr.

Several Black people have been killed at the hands of white law enforcement officers in Ohio over the past decade, sparking nationwide outrage and cries for police reform.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A retrial for a former Ohio sheriff’s deputy who was charged with murder in the killing of a 23-year-old Black man is scheduled for this fall.

A trial date for Jason Meade, who is white, was set for Oct. 31 during a standing conference held Monday by Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge David Young. Casey Goodson Jr. he was one of several Black people killed by white law enforcement in Ohio over the past decade — all deaths that sparked nationwide outrage and cries for police reform.

He also oversaw Meade’s first trial earlier this 12 months, during which the jury couldn’t agree on a verdict, and in February, Young declared a mistrial, ending tumultuous proceedings that resulted in 4 jurors being dismissed.

Jason Meade, theGrio.com, Casey Goodson, Jr.
Former Franklin County sheriff’s deputy Jason Meade (center) stands with his defenders in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Brooke LaValley/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Special prosecutors Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer and Assistant Montgomery County Attorney Josh Shaw – who were assigned to prosecute the case – released an announcement a couple of days later saying it was “in the best interest of all individuals involved and the community” to maneuver forward with the test.

Meade was charged with murder and reckless homicide in the December 2020 killing of Goodson in Columbus. Meade pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers said they weren’t surprised by prosecutors’ decision to pursue one other trial, which they said was attributable to political pressure from local elected officials.

Meade shot Goodson six times, including five times in the back, as Goodson tried to enter his grandmother’s house. Meade testified that Goodson was waving a gun at him as the two drove past one another, so he pursued him because he claimed he feared for his life and the lives of others. He said he eventually shot Goodson at the door of his grandmother’s house because the young man turned towards him with a gun.

Goodson’s family and prosecutors said he was holding a bag of sandwiches in one hand and his keys in the other when he was fatally shot. They don’t dispute that Goodson could have been carrying a gun and note that he had a permit to hold a firearm.

Goodson’s weapon, a handgun with an prolonged magazine, was found on the floor of his grandmother’s kitchen with the safety mechanism engaged.

Meade was not wearing a body camera, so there is no such thing as a footage of the shooting, and prosecutors repeatedly asserted during the first trial that Meade was the only person who testified that Goodson was holding a gun.

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Former White deputy faces second trial in death of Casey Goodson Jr., who was shot 5 times in the back appeared first on TheGrio.

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A policeman admits to kneeling a 15-year-old’s handcuffed neck and breaking his eye socket over a doorbell joke.

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Dempsey Walters was charged in September 2023 with assaulting a 17-year-old boy with whom he had an argument and a 15-year-old boy who pranked him by ringing the doorbell.

DOVER, Del. (AP) – A suspended Delaware state trooper is facing prison time after pleading guilty to criminal charges that included brutally assaulting a teenager who prankly targeted the officer’s home.

Authorities said Dempsey Walters, 30, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree assault and deprivation of civil rights. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor assault and two counts of official misconduct. Prosecutors plan to recommend that Walters be sentenced to 1.5 years in prison.

“We do not recommend reckless prison sentences, but there is no doubt that justice requires it in this case,” Attorney General Kathleen Jennings said in a prepared statement. “The defendant’s rampage towards two children and his subsequent attempt to cover up his misconduct was brutal, dishonest and unacceptable.”

A soldier admits to dropping his knee on a handcuffed teenager’s neck and breaking his eye socket over a doorbell prank. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

The case was the primary application of the state’s civil rights law, which lawmakers passed unanimously in 2022.

In September 2023, Walters was charged with assaulting a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old who suffered a broken eye socket. Authorities said Walters was off-duty and returning to his Elsmere home last August when he argued with a 17-year-old. Walters contacted Elsmere police, who took the teenager home and released him to his mother. The next day, authorities said, Walters looked him up in a Delaware law enforcement database.

Three days later, Walters was on duty when a 15-year-old and three friends who were passing Walters’ home decided to play a prank on the doorbell. The teenager ran to Walters’ home and kicked within the door before running away. In the video from the house surveillance camera, the teenager’s face appears to be covered. Walters’ girlfriend called him and provided a description of the teenager. Walters drove to the realm and called other soldiers and police for help.

While trying to find the one who got here to his door, the witness told Walters that several juveniles had just run down the road where the 17-year-old lived. Walters drove to the realm, looked up the 17-year-old again in a state database and went to his home with two Newport law enforcement officials.

When officers arrived at the teenager’s home, he and his friend approached the front door. Authorities said Walters grabbed the 17-year-old and pushed him to the bottom, injuring him. The teenager, who was not a part of the group that pulled the doorbell prank, was handcuffed and detained but was never formally arrested throughout the encounter, which was captured on Newport police cameras and Walters’ body camera.

Walters then heard that the group involved in ringing his doorbell had been found and arrested. When he arrived, the 15-year-old was lying face down on the bottom and an officer was trying to handcuff him. According to investigators, almost immediately after arriving on the scene, Walters lowered his knee to the back of the teenager’s head and neck, as seen on the police vehicle camera and Walters’ body camera.

After the 15-year-old was arrested and placed in a police automotive, Walters and one other officer confirmed that the person arrested was the identical one who kicked him within the door. He then turned off his body camera and approached the police vehicle. While the teenager was handcuffed at the back of the vehicle, Walters punched him within the face, fracturing his right eye socket. Walters then walked across the vehicle and turned the body camera back on.

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