Feds open civil rights probe after deputies shoot Black man

Feb 15, 2023, 2:08 AM | Updated: 6:24 pm

Michael Jenkins, second from right, stand with his mother, Mary Jenkins, center, and their attorney...

Michael Jenkins, second from right, stand with his mother, Mary Jenkins, center, and their attorneys at a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 15. 2023, in Jackson, Miss., following his release from the hospital three weeks after being shot by sheriff's deputies. The Justice Department says it has opened a civil rights investigation into the Rankin County Sheriff's Office after its deputies wounded Jenkins during a drug raid on Jan. 24. Jenkins says he was beaten and shot in the mouth unjustifiably. The sheriff says Jenkins was charged with assaulting an officer and drug possession. (AP Photo/Michael Goldberg)

(AP Photo/Michael Goldberg)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday it is investigating possible civil rights violations by a Mississippi sheriff’s department after a drug raid last month left a Black man with a bullet wound to the face.

There is a stark discrepancy in how police say the Jan. 24 incident unfolded and what lawyers for the family of Michael Corey Jenkins say occurred. The lawyers claim it was a racially motivated attack while police say the shooting occurred after someone pointed a gun at deputies during the late-night raid at a home in Rankin County, just east of the state capital of Jackson.

Attorneys for Jenkins, 32, say he was critically injured by Rankin County deputies. Jenkins was released from the hospital Tuesday and attended a news conference Wednesday, where he nodded affirmatively when his lawyer, Malik Shabazz, asked if deputies had beaten him and shot him in the mouth.

“This is deliberate. This is drawn out. This is unheard of,” Shabazz told reporters.

According to Shabazz, deputies never presented a warrant before forcing their way into the home. The deputies immediately subdued Jenkins and another man, Eddie Terrell Parker, who counted six officers and described all of them as white. Neither Jenkins nor Parker resisted, he said.

Parker said he was sitting in his bedroom at about 10 p.m. that night when he heard loud talking coming from the home’s living room. He said he opened his door and saw deputies in the hallway, and they immediately ordered him to get down on the floor.

Over the course of 90 minutes, Parker and Jenkins said, they were beaten, shocked with Tasers and ordered to lie on their backs as deputies poured milk over their faces. Parker said he struggled “to keep breathing and keep from drowning at the same time.”

“There was milk coming out of my nose, my mouth,” Parker told The Associated Press in an interview. “I’ve never been in that position and felt the way that I felt that night.”

Jenkins, who has trouble speaking because of his injuries, told AP that he was on his knees at the end of the ordeal when one of the deputies stood over him. Shabazz said the deputy placed the barrel of a gun in Jenkins’ mouth, it fired and the bullet exited behind one of Jenkins’ ears.

The Justice Department released a statement following the news conference, saying its civil rights division, along with local FBI agents and federal prosecutors in Mississippi, have opened a federal civil rights investigation.

Bailey Martin, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, said the state agency also is investigating the shooting. She declined further comment.

In a news release on Jan. 25, the bureau said the deputies were conducting a narcotics investigation when they entered the home. The bureau said the shooting occurred after someone pointed a gun toward the deputies. The statement does not say whether a weapon was recovered at the scene.

Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said in a statement that he immediately sought a state investigation. The sheriff’s office gave few details but said Jenkins was charged with assaulting an officer and drug possession. Parker has been charged with possession of paraphernalia and disorderly conduct.

“Rest assured, if any deputy or suspect involved in this incident is found to have broken the law, he will be held accountable in accordance with the law,” the sheriff said.

Bailey did not respond to written questions about whether deputies had a warrant or if the deputies involved had been placed on administrative leave.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

3 hours ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

2 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

3 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

3 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

4 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

5 days ago

Feds open civil rights probe after deputies shoot Black man