Mississippi and federal investigators are probing allegations that six white sheriff's deputies falsely accused a Black man of selling drugs and shot him while he was handcuffed during a drug raid, Capital B reports. Malik Shabazz, a lawyer for the family of Michael Corey Jenkins, 32, said the shooting occurred in Braxton, Ms., on Jan. 24 when deputies used "excessive interrogation methods to coerce a confession" during a drug raid that turned up no drugs at the home of Jenkins' friend. In a press release, the attorney called the interrogation of nearly two hours a “free-for-all intimidation and torture session” that included death threats by the deputies. Shabazz said deputies also accused the men of "dating white women" during an interrogation that included punches, kicks, slaps and stun guns.
A Rankin County Sheriff's Department spokesman declined to comment. The day after the raid, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation issued a press release that vaguely described a narcotics investigation in Braxton that left “the subject” hospitalized. The agency also said that Rankin County Sheriff’s Department deputies “encountered a subject that displayed a gun towards the deputies.” Michael Jenkins denied having a gun in writing to his attorney and family, Shabazz said. The MBI said in an email to Capital B on Feb. 10 that because this is an open investigation, they won’t confirm or deny the identity of “the subject” involved or make any further comments. The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Justice Department said it is investigating possible civil rights violations. Jenkins was in the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital where he underwent at least two surgeries, according to Shabazz. A bullet to his mouth caused permanent injuries to his brain, the attorney said, and he has lost the ability to speak because his tongue was surgically removed due to damage by the bullet. Shabazz said Jenkins has been charged with aggravated assault, but the county clerk and prosecutor said they had no record of Jenkins' case.