The Rankin County Sheriff's Office in Mississippi operated a self-proclaimed "Goon Squad" that beat, tortured, sexually assaulted, planted evidence, and falsely charged victims. This project investigates this unit and other acts of the sheriff's office, which could become one of a handful of law enforcement agencies that the Justice Department declares a racketeering operation.

Unlike in other democratic institutions, which have built-in checks and balances, sheriffs are the most powerful and often the most popular figures in rural counties in Mississippi and beyond.

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Criminal Justice

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