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Mississippi ex-police officer pleads guilty after making man lick urine off jail floor

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal misdemeanor charge after authorities said he forced a man he had arrested to lick urine off the floor of a jail cell.

Michael Christian Green, 26, lost his job as a Pearl Police Department patrol officer in late December, four days after security cameras showed the violent encounter in Pearl, a suburb of the capital city of Jackson.

Green — who has a large cross tattooed on one arm and the word “Blessed” tattooed on the other — stood calmly before a federal magistrate judge Thursday and did not dispute any of the accusations read aloud by a federal prosecutor.

When Judge Andrew Harris asked how Green was pleading on the charge of deprivation of civil rights, he responded: “Guilty, sir.”

Earlier Thursday, Pearl Mayor Jake Windham held a news conference and condemned Green's brutality against a person in detention.

“I don’t understand how you treat someone like that,” Windham said.

Although court documents did not mention race, Green is white and a Pearl spokesperson said the man he arrested is Latino.

A charging document was issued March 4 and unsealed Wednesday. It says Green arrested the man Dec. 23 after a disturbance at a store in Pearl.

Security footage in the police department showed that once the man was in a holding cell, he knocked on the cell door and tried to tell Green that he needed to urinate, according to the court document. After waiting for some time, the man went to the back of the cell and urinated in a corner, the document said.

The man who was arrested is identified in the court document only by his initials, B.E. The security camera footage showed Green telling B.E. that he would beat him with a phone.

“You’re fixin’ to go in there and you’re going to lick that p—— up," Green said, according the court document. "Do you understand me?”

Green took the man back into the cell and told him to get on the ground and “suck it up," then used his phone to take videos of B.E. while the man got on the ground and licked his own urine, the document said. After the man gagged multiple times, Green told him, “don't spit it out,” according to the document.

“Green did not have a government interest or law enforcement purpose in ordering B.E. to lick his urine,” the federal charging document said.

The city of Pearl said in a statement Thursday that officials learned about the “disturbing event” during Christmas weekend and opened an investigation, using an independent attorney. Windham said Green resigned Dec. 27.

“The proper thing to do was to take the gentleman to the restroom and to not do anything of this magnitude and violate his civil rights," Windham said.

A federal prosecutor said the victim was not in court Thursday, although authorities reached out to see if he wanted to attend Green’s hearing.

Green remains free on bond until his May 24 sentencing. He faces up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine. Harris ordered Green to surrender his Mississippi law enforcement certification.

Windham said Green had worked for the Pearl Police Department for about six months after having worked at other law enforcement agencies in the Jackson area.

It's rare for law enforcement officers in Mississippi be charged with brutality, although authorities typically investigate several cases each year of shootings by police. Pearl is in Rankin County, where six white former law enforcement officers — including some who called themselves the “Goon Squad” — pleaded guilty last year to federal charges in a racist assault on two Black men.

Windham said Thursday that the Pearl Police Department handled its own investigation quickly.

“I think there's a stark contrast between the Pearl Police Department in this incident and the Goon Squad,” Windham said.