OPINION: Racism, Rankin County and the clan Dedmon

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By Charlie Braxton

Jackson Advocate Guest Writer

Almost 13 years ago, Brandon native Deryl Dedmon made a fateful decision to drive into the City of Jackson and, to use his own words, “mess with some n——.” High off alcohol, marijuana, pills, and hatred, Dedmon, along with a posse of ten other teenage terrorists, arrived in Jackson looking for Blacks to prey upon. 

According to reports, driving to the predominately Black city and harassing African-American pedestrians was something that the teens often did for fun. How Dedmon and his bigoted cohorts engaged in fun began with them riding through Black communities shouting racial slurs and speeding off into the night. 

It graduated form merely shouting racial epitaphs to throwing beer bottles at random Black pedestrians to jumping out of their vehicles and beating an intoxicated homeless man until he pleaded for his life. They had done this on at least five separate occasions, so the teens the FBI called “a gang of racist thugs” were very familiar with what they were about to do.

 But on June 26, 2011, the gang took their “fun” too far.

That night the teens spotted James A. Anderson, an employee at Nissan, at the Metro Inn parking trying to get into his truck. He was alone and vulnerable, the perfect target for the cowardly teens. They descended on him like a pack of wild wolves, robbing and beating him unmercifully while screaming the n-word and white power. The beating took only a few minutes, but had to seem much longer to Anderson, who clearly was no match for the gang of thugs. After beating him to the edge of consciousness, the cowardly teens took off like thieves into the hot summer night.

A beaten and bloody Anderson, dazed and confused, stumbled through the parking lot, looking for help. Sadly, it would never come. He was spotted by Deryl Dedmon (what a last name) stumbling down the sidewalk looking for help as he was attempting his getaway. Dedmon sped up, drove on the curb, and ran over Anderson with his green Ford F250 pickup truck. Anderson later succumbed to the injuries he sustained from the incident. After killing Anderson, Dedmon drove to a nearby fast food eatery and bragged to his friends that he had “ran that n—– over.”

 I remember this tragic event clearly. I wrote an editorial about it in the Huffington Post. In this editorial, I asserted that Dedmon and his friends didn’t develop the racial animus that motivated them to commit hate crimes on their own. I believe that Dedmon adopted a racist mentality because he grew up in an environment that planted and nurtured this racist seed in his brain. It would be years later before another racial incident would finally confirm my suspicions.

On January 24, 2023, five members of the Rankin County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Office and one member of the Richland, Mississippi Police Department’s Narcotic Division went to Braxton, Mississippi, and kicked in the door of Michael Corey Jenkins and his friend Eddie Terrell Parker under the guise of looking for drugs. These officers, who call themselves “the Goon Squad,” didn’t have a warrant nor did they have probable cause to search the house, nor did their search turn up any drugs. Angered that their shenanigans didn’t give them a legitimate reason to arrest the two Black men, the officers hurled racial slurs at the men, calling them boys, monkeys, and n—–. The rogue officers decided to turn to more intense measures. After shooting multiple rounds into the air, punching and kicking, and tasing them, forcing them to drink liquids, and sexually assaulting them with a dildo for roughly 90 minutes, one officer took things up a notch. 

Hunter Elward took out his gun, removed a bullet from the chamber, stuck the gun in Jenkins’ mouth, and pulled the trigger. The gun clicked but didn’t fire. Afterward, the officer racked the gun and pulled the trigger again. This time, the gun went off. According to the FBI, the gun lacerated Jenkins’ tongue, broke his jaw, and exited out his neck. 

Instead of rendering much-needed medical aid, the officers went outside to concoct a false story to cover their criminal behavior as Jenkins lay there bleeding. After getting their story together, the men went into the house and gathered all the shells and taser cartridges. They also destroyed the surveillance footage and planted a gun and drugs on their victims. To further legitimize their dastardly deeds, they submitted false evidence to the crime lab and filed false reports. The officers charged Jenkins with crimes he didn’t commit. They also pressured witnesses to go along with their lies.

Fortunately for Jenkins and Terrell, the truth came to light.

The officers were charged with 13 counts of State and Federal charges, including torture, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to hinder prosecution.

On August 14, 2023, all six members of the self-proclaimed Goon Squad pleaded guilty to all charges. As of this writing, the men await sentencing.

While reading various news articles on the horrific incident, I looked at the names and faces of the Goon Squad culprits, and one name stood out to me like a sore thumb, Christian Dedmon.

According to Mississippi Today, Dedmon repeatedly “drive stunned Jenkins with his taser” while the other officers taunted Jenkins and Parker. In addition to firing multiple rounds in the air, Dedmon threatens to anally rape the two men. When he approached Jenkins’ backside, he stopped when he noticed that his victim had soiled himself.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough humiliation for Dedmon and his fellow officers poured milk, alcohol, and chocolate syrup on their faces and into their mouths. He also poured grease on Parker’s head and pelted both men with eggs in a further attempt to humiliate them. Dedmon was also the officer who fired his gun in the yard, the reports indicated.

Apparently, Christian and Deryl have more in common than their unusual sir names. Both men are natives of Brandon, a city in Rankin County. Both reportedly are cousins. Both were apt to hurl racial slurs at people of color. And both men also reportedly seem more than willing to inflict violence on Black people. 

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OPINION: Racism, Rankin County and the clan Dedmon

By Jackson Advocate News Service
October 9, 2023