JANS – Local ministers, Rankin County concerned citizens, and the Rankin County Branch NAACP will hold a Public Hearing on Police Brutality in Rankin County Saturday, June 10th to discuss allegations of misconduct, torture, and sexual abuse by the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department. The meeting will be held at the Pilgrim Rest Family Life Center, 925 Trickham Bridge Road in Brandon, MS. Lunch will be served at noon and the meeting will begin at 1 p.m.
Some of the victims, including Michael Corey Jenkins, their families, and local attorney Trent Walker will discuss questions they want the sheriff’s department to answer. The town hall will double as a fundraiser for Jenkins.
Black Lawyers for Justice (BLJ), lead counsel Malik Shabazz, Esq., and attorney Walker will unveil the filing of a 40-page, 22-count federal civil rights lawsuit against Rankin County, MS that demands $400M in compensatory and punitive damages from all defendants. This civil lawsuit is in response to the now notorious ordeal where Michael Jenkins was shot inside the mouth while handcuffed by Rankin County deputies.
Jenkins and a friend, Eddie Terrell Parker, said deputies broke into their Braxton home on the night of Jan. 24 and handcuffed, beat, tortured, tased, and sexually assaulted them for nearly two bloody hours.
Walker said the deputies had no warrant that night, turned off their body cameras when they entered the men’s home and turned them back on when they left.
Jenkins’ and Parker’s victimization is part of a long-time pattern, Walker says of the sheriff’s department terrorizing and killing Black men. Rankin County residents and persons nationwide are demanding the firing of Sheriff Bryan Bailey.
Attorney Walker met privately with Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division when she visited Mississippi last week. Rankin County is 73.5% white, 21% Black.
The DOJ is investigating the allegations. Families have questions that the sheriff’s department refuses to answer, Walker said, including the current status of the deputies involved.
On July 26, 2021, unarmed Damien Cameron lost his life in an encounter with the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department.
Rankin County deputies Luke A. Stickman and Hunter Elward were involved according to the pending civil suit filed on behalf of Cameron’s mother, Monica Lee. In the lawsuit proceedings, Monica Lee, who witnessed the incident, accuses Rankin deputy Strickland of placing a knee into Cameron’s neck after he complained he could not breathe and continued to choke him by way of a knee on her son’s neck while he was completely unresponsive. Cameron died shortly after that. Monica Lee will testify at Saturday’s hearing.
Walker, who is lead counsel for Monica Lee, stated, “I grew up in Rankin County, Mississippi, and justice has been a long time coming. Residents have suffered this type of abuse and racism for decades here. It had become customary and accepted. That day has ended, and we are here to give the victims a voice, and where we can legally act on their behalf against Rankin County Sheriff’s Department.”
For more information, contact Attorney Trent Walker at 601-321-9540.