‘These officers need to be prosecuted’: Mother of man allegedly beaten, sexually assaulted by Rankin Co. deputies speaks out
RANKIN CO., Miss. (WLBT) - On Tuesday, Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey announced that multiple deputies were fired from the sheriff’s department.
Attorneys Malik Shabazz and Trent Walker are representing the two men who were allegedly assaulted.
They said they’re happy the deputies were fired, but they are still not satisfied.
“Your firing of these deputies Bryan Bailey is too little too late,” Shabazz expressed. “You should have long ago fired these deputies.”
Shabazz said he thinks the only reason Bailey fired the deputies is that the Mississippi Department of Justice and the State Bureau of Investigation are now investigating the alleged incident.
On January 24, the deputies were called out to a home at 135 Conerly Road in Braxton, Mississippi due to drug activity. Shabazz said the deputies did not have a warrant.
He said the law enforcement officers tased, beat, tortured, and sexually assaulted the two men for more than 90 minutes.
Body cameras were not activated during this incident.
Shabazz calls it a racially motivated attack.
”Hunter Elward was one of the men he fired, and Hunter Elward is the deputy we say placed his gun inside Michael Jenkins of mouth and held it, and intentionally fired, and intended to murder Michael Jenkins,” said Shabazz.
“You know the one person that Bryan Bailey didn’t fire that he needed to fire is Bryan Bailey,” said Walker.
WLBT has learned that there were five deputies from the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department on the scene during this incident.
Now, a total of six law enforcement officers were allegedly present.
He’s wondering why only five are being held accountable for this incident.
”So that means there is an officer that has not been accounted for, who apparently is still employed by either the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department or some other department,” said Walker. “We’re first of all calling on the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Bryan Bailey to release the names of everybody who was involved that night.”
“If they were involved enough for you to fire, then there’s no reason to keep covering for them by failing to release their names,” he continued. “Thus, [don’t] allow them to go get a job with some other law enforcement agency to carry out the same things that they’ve been doing.”
Walker said he thinks Bailey should step down from his position.
He and Shabazz are blaming Sheriff Bailey for allowing his deputies to behave in this manner, and for allowing a certain culture to exist at the sheriff’s office.
After the alleged attack on her son, Mary Jenkins said she thinks all of the deputies involved face criminal charges.
”These officers need to be prosecuted,” said Jenkins. “They need to never be able to work at another police department because they are unfit.”
Jason Dare is the attorney representing the sheriff’s department.
He said the names of the deputies who have been fired will not be released at this time due to an ongoing investigation.
Dare said some of the deputies resigned prior to being fired.
Those who did not resign were officially fired from the department last Friday.
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