A Mississippi sheriff fired deputies accused by two Black men of entering their home where they allegedly tortured and attempted to sexually assault them.
The firing of the white Rankin County deputies came two weeks after Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker made the shocking claims and filed a federal lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims that the deputies entered the home in Braxton in January, handcuffed the men then kicked, waterboarded and used Tasers on them. It also claims that one deputy placed his gun in Mr Jenkins’s mouth and shot him, lacerating his tongue and dislocating his jaw.
“Throughout the nearly two-hour ordeal, the six deputies would punch and beat two handcuffed men at will, hurting and humiliating both Jenkins and Parker. Deputies also repeatedly and gratuitously kicked the men as if they were animals while they lay subdued and handcuffed,” the lawsuit states.
And it added: “In their repeated use of racial slurs in the course of their violent acts, (the deputies) were oppressive and hateful against their African- American victims. Defendants were motivated on the basis of race and the color of the skin of the persons they assaulted.”
It is claimed the deputies tried to use a sexual device against the two men and forced them to shower together.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the US District Court in Mississippi on 12 June, names Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey and the six deputies as defendants and seeks $400m in damages.“Due to recent developments, including findings during our internal investigation, those deputies that were still employed by this department have all been terminated,” Sheriff Bailey told reporters on Tuesday.
“We understand that the alleged actions of these deputies has eroded the public’s trust department. Rest assured that we will work diligently to restore that trust.”
The sheriff would not say how many deputies had been fired or provide their names to the media. He would also not answer any additional questions about the incident.
He has previously said that his deputies went to the home for drug enforcement activities, reported WAPT.
There is no body cam footage of the incident, according to The Clarion-Ledger, and the Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the incident.
“Unfortunately, Jenkins has suffered permanent physical injuries, permanent cognitive damage, long-term psychological damage, permanent disfigurement, and impairment,” the suit states.
Mr Parker also needed medical attention for injuries suffered during the incident, according to the lawsuit.