Lawsuit Alleges Police Officer Tortured Black Man with Police Dog

A federal lawsuit accuses a former "Goon Squad" officer of setting a police dog on a handcuffed Black man, Bobbie Adams, in 2021, causing injuries. The officer, Tony Shack, is alleged to have ordered the attack, and another officer, Christian Dedmon, is accused of falsifying a report about the incident.

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Lawsuit Alleges Police Officer Tortured Black Man with Police Dog

Lawsuit Alleges Police Officer Tortured Black Man with Police Dog

A federal lawsuit filed by Bobbie Adams, a 41-year-old Black man from Mississippi, accuses a former officer from the notorious "Goon Squad" of setting a police dog on him while he was handcuffed on the ground in 2021. The incident, which occurred on May 1, 2021, resulted in several injuries to Adams.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the ongoing issue of police brutality and misconduct, particularly against Black individuals, and raises concerns about the culture of violence within law enforcement agencies. It also underscores the need for accountability and reform to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

According to the lawsuit, Adams attempted to flee from deputies on foot after being caught selling methamphetamine to an informant. However, he surrendered after seeing six officers on the scene in a wooded area. Despite being handcuffed in a subdued position on the ground, Tony Shack, a Rankin County sheriff's officer, allegedly ordered his dog, VooDoo, to attack and bite Adams.

The lawsuit further alleges that it took eight minutes from when Adams was handcuffed for deputies to radio in that he needed medical attention and 13 minutes for dispatchers to say that a police dog had been released. Christian Dedmon, an investigator with the department, is accused of falsifying a report about the incident, claiming that Adams kicked at the dog and caused it to bite him several times.

Dedmon is one of six Goon Squad officers sentenced last month by a federal judge for torturing two other Black men, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker. He received a 40-year prison sentence for his role in the abuse. Attorney Trent Walker, who represented Jenkins and Parker, commented on the lawsuit, stating, "The allegations in this lawsuit just go to further prove the longstanding customs, patterns, and practices of the Rankin County Sheriff's Department, particularly under the tenure of Sheriff Bryan Bailey."

Walker further added, "These allegations show that violence has been endemic to the culture of the department for decades. It is long past time that these all-too-frequent incidents cease to be treated with a wink and a nod by those in power in Rankin County." The incident involving Adams is not an isolated case, as Dedmon was also involved in beating and shocking a man in 2022, even firing a gun toward his head to coerce him into a confession.

The lawsuit against the Rankin County deputies and the sentencing of the Goon Squad officers highlight the ongoing issues of police brutality and misconduct, particularly against Black individuals. Despite Sheriff Bryan Bailey publicly denying any knowledge of the behavior of the sentenced officers, the allegations in Adams' lawsuit suggest a deeply entrenched culture of violence within the Rankin County Sheriff's Department that has persisted for years.

Key Takeaways

  • Bobbie Adams, a 41-year-old Black man, accuses a former "Goon Squad" officer of setting a police dog on him while handcuffed.
  • The incident occurred in 2021, resulting in several injuries to Adams.
  • Officer Tony Shack allegedly ordered the dog to attack Adams, despite him being subdued on the ground.
  • Investigator Christian Dedmon is accused of falsifying a report, claiming Adams kicked the dog, causing it to bite him.
  • Dedmon was sentenced to 40 years in prison for torturing two other Black men, highlighting a culture of violence within the department.