Six former Mississippi law officers pled guilty to state charges Aug. 14 for their racist assault on two Black men, including Michael Corey Jenkins (pictured), that ended with an officer shooting one man in the mouth. (AP Photo/HG Biggs, File)

Six White former Mississippi law officers pleaded guilty to state charges on Aug. 14 for torturing two Black men in a racist assault. All six had recently admitted their guilt in a connected federal civil rights case.

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 victim shot in the mouth.

In January, the officers entered a house without a warrant and handcuffed and assaulted the two men with stun guns, a sex toy and other objects. The officers mocked them with racial slurs throughout a 90-minute torture session, then devised a coverup that included planting drugs and a gun, leading to false charges that could have sent one victim to prison for years.

Each reached individual plea agreements that include prison sentences ranging from five to 30 years, court records show. 

The victims were Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker. Monica Lee, the mother of Damien Cameron, another Black man who died in 2021 after Elward punched and tased him during an arrest, embraced both men as they entered court for the hearing.

After the brazen acts of police violence in Rankin County came to light, some residents pointed to a police culture they said gave officers carte blanche to abuse their power.

The civil rights charges followed an Associated Press investigation linking some of the officers to at least four violent encounters with Black men since 2019, which left two dead and another with lasting injuries. The Justice Dept. launched a civil rights probe in February.

Rankin County’s majority-White suburbs have been a destination for White flight out of the capital, Jackson, which is home to one of the highest percentages of Black residents of any major U.S. city.

The officers warned Jenkins and Parker to “go back to Jackson or ‘their side’ of the Pearl River,” the documents say.

Jenkins and Parker were targeted because a White neighbor complained that two Black men were staying at the home with a White woman, court documents show.

Parker was a childhood friend of the homeowner, Kristi Walley. She’s been paralyzed since she was 15, and Parker was helping care for her.