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Ex-MS Officers Admit To More Charges In Beating Of Black Men

Six white former law enforcement officers in Mississippi pleaded guilty Monday to state charges connected to the beating and sexual assault of two Black men, one of whom was shot in the mouth, USA Today reports. Five former Rankin County sheriff’s deputies and another officer pleaded guilty to home invasion, aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and obstruction of justice nearly two weeks after admitting to more than a dozen federal charges from the same incident. Each agreed to sentences recommended by state prosecutors ranging from five to 30 years, although the judge isn’t bound by that, the Associated Press reports. Time served for the state charges will run concurrently with the federal sentences they are scheduled to receive. Each could get longer prison sentences in federal court in November.

The former law enforcement officers are former Rankin County sheriff's deputies Brett McAlpin, 52, Christian Dedmon, 28, Jeffrey Middleton, 46, Hunter Elward, 31, and Daniel Opdyke, 27; and former Richland police officer Joshua Hartfield, 31. Prosecutors say some of the officers nicknamed themselves the “Goon Squad” because of their willingness to use excessive force and cover it up, including the attack that ended with a deputy shooting one victim in the mouth. "This brutal attack caused more than physical harm to these two individual victims; it severed that vital trust with the people," said Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch. "This abuse of power will not be tolerated."


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