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Former Richland officer identified in Rankin County alleged assault against 2 Black men

By Alexandria Galtney

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    RICHLAND, Mississippi (WAPT) — A former Richland police officer has been implicated for his role in a January Rankin County assault involving two Black men.

Police Chief Nick McLendon confirmed former officer, Joshua Hartfield, was implicated for his role in the beating and torturing of Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker in a Facebook post.

According to the post from Chief McLendon, Hartfield was off duty at the time of the alleged incident.

Attorneys for Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker said the men were at a home in Braxton when they were subjected to two hours of brutality in which they accuse a group of law enforcement of using stun guns on them, waterboarding them, forcing them to strip and shower together and using a sex toy on them. Jenkins was also shot in the mouth.

According to attorneys for Jenkins and Parker, the members of law enforcement did not have warrants, and they had turned off their body cameras during the incident.

McLendon said in his Facebook post that upon learning of Hartfield’s involvement, immediate action was taken in line with the Richland Police Department’s strict standards of responsibility and accountability. McLendon said Hartfield was placed on administrative leave, subjected to disciplinary action, and subsequently tendered his resignation from the Richland Police Department.

McLendon called Hartfield’s alleged involvement disappointing. McLendon went on to say that if the alleged assaults are proven factual, this incident taints the respected badge that symbolizes the noble cause of all law enforcement.

McLendon said his department will continue to fully cooperate with all agencies involved in the ongoing investigation.

The Rankin County sheriff said deputies accused in the lawsuit have been fired.

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