Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty

“It never ends,” began Nsombi Lambright-Haynes during an exclusive discussion with NewsOne about Mississippi’s Goon Squad members, Brett McAlpin, who filed a notice of appeal this week despite having plead guilty to torturing two Black men, his attorney Aafram Sellers reported. Lambright-Haynes is the executive director of Mississippi OneVoice, a civil and human rights organization born in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In August of 2023, McAlpin along with five other members of the Goon Squad pleaded guilty in federal court to more than 15 felonies, among them civil rights conspiracy, deprivation of rights under color of law, discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice. 


Source: Giles Clarke / Getty

McAlpin was sentenced to 27.5 years in federal prison. Also convicted of multiple state charges, the judge overseeing that case allowed the state time to run concurrently with the federal time. It was a gift, one rarely enough afforded Black defendants who face federal and state time–the years of which run wild–or consecutively.

But McAlpin, known to be the long-serving, defacto leader of a rotating pack of cops whose moniker was Confederate flag and a noose. McAlpin was also the ranking officer at the scene where Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker were subjected to multiple and racially motivated forms of brutal torture on Jan. 24, 2023 by six of the Goons. McAlpin was responsible for rallying them all to action that night.

The Goon Squad–widely known to be cops who would use any kind of excessive force against people–burst into Ms. Kristi Walley’s Rankin County home where Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Parker were visiting. Rankin County, a largely white area of Mississippi just east of the state’s capital, Jackson, where the population is largely Black. 

The Goons had been called by a white neighbor whose name has not been revealed. In an eerie moment reminiscent of Emmett Till’s murder in 1955, the neighbor alerted the Goons that there were Black men in a white woman’s home. And indeed, Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Parker were there because Mr. Parker was a longtime friend of Ms. Kristi Walley. He’d helped care for his childhood friend who’d been paralyzed since she was 15. 

On the night of the Jan. 24, she was in the hospital when the Goons burst into her home without a warrant. Despite that act itself being a Fourth Amendment violation, it was perhaps the least of the violations that occurred that mean January night. For nearly two hours, the Goons stripped, handcuffed and sexually assaulted Mr. Parker and Mr. Jenkins with a dildo. Rape was threatened. Eggs were thrown at them. 

Michael Jenkins, alleged police brutality victim in Rankin County, Mississippi

Michael Jenkins After Being Shot Source: Black Lawyers for Justice / Black Lawyers for Justice

The Goons forced Mr. Parker and Mr. Jenkins to drink alcohol, chocolate sauce, cooking oil and syrup, and made them shower together to “clean up” the evidence. The men were waterboarded, beaten with wooden boards and swords. But even all of this wasn’t enough. 

The Goons stunned the handcuffed and innocent men repeatedly, trying to see who could hurt the men the most. And then one of them, Hunter Elward, shoved a gun with a single bullet in into Mr. Jenkins’ mouth. When nothing happened the first time he pulled the trigger, he pulled it again causing grievous injury to Mr. Jenkins. 

Elward called it a mock execution that went wrong. 

But because it “went wrong” the Goons knew they needed to cover up their actions. They threw the home security hard drive into the river. They fired shots outside like there had been some kind of gun battle. They planted methamphetamine and a gun on the two innocent men. Afterwards, they arrested him and took Jenkins to the hospital. He wasn’t expected to live.

But he did live, and even as he was barely able to speak as a result of the shooting, he told what happened to him and Mr. Parker. 

“His attorney, Malik Shabazz, went to the DOJ. It was a brilliant move because likely nothing would have moved in the state otherwise,” said Ms. Lambright-Haynes “Law enforcement has been doing this kind of thing for years with impunity.” The lifelong human rights advocate added, “We’re so grateful for the DOJ’s investigation, which is still ongoing, given how many victims there were over a 20 year period. 

“But in the community, we’ve always known this kind of atrocity went on. Most people just never think they’ll be believed and most often when they try to get the Sheriff to listen, they’re dismissed,” she said.

“That’s why we join the Rankin County NAACP branch and so many other leaders and citizens in calling for the removal of Sheriff Bryan Bailey. These horrors happened on his watch,” asserted Ms. Lambright-Haynes, who paused and then added softly how haunted she still was by Michael Jenkins’ words at the sentencing hearing: “Y’all killed me,” he said. “I just didn’t die.”

The discussion with Nsombi Lambright-Haynes concluded as it began. “It never ends.” She excused herself because the body of an African man who was allegedly beaten by three white men and thrown in the Pearl River, had just been identified.


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