Former Mississippi officer charged after allegedly forcing arrestee to lick urine off floor

A former Mississippi police officer pleaded guilty to a federal charge after allegedly forcing an arrestee to lick his own urine off a holding cell floor under threat of harm, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday.

The officer, former City of Pearl Police Department patrolman Michael Christian Green, pleaded guilty to one federal misdemeanor count of deprivation of civil rights under color of law, the complaint says.

Green responded to a disturbance at a Sam’s Club on December 23, 2023, the complaint says, and arrested a man. Once the man was booked, security footage from the holding cell showed him trying to tell Green he needed to urinate, the federal prosecutor writes in the complaint. After not receiving a response, the man urinated in a corner. When Green was later told about the urine, he demanded the arrestee lick the urine, threatening to beat him with a phone, the complaint says.

While standing in the doorway of the holding cell, Green commanded the man to get on the ground and “suck it up,” according to the complaint, then “removed his phone from his duty vest and filmed” the man, who complied.

CNN has reached out to Green’s attorney for comment. Green has an initial appearance and change of plea hearing set for Thursday, court records show.

Pearl, located just outside Jackson, sits in Rankin County, Mississippi, which drew national attention in 2023 after five former deputies and one former Richland police officer pleaded guilty to multiple federal and state charges in connection with “the torture and physical abuse” of two Black men at a home in Braxton, the Justice Department said last year. The men are due in federal court next week for their sentencing.

Some of the deputies were part of “The Goon Squad,” a group of Rankin County Sheriff officers known for a willingness to use excessive force and not report it, as CNN previously reported.

The City of Pearl uncovered the incident involving Green over Christmas weekend, it said Thursday, and opened an internal investigation. Green was placed on administrative leave and resigned on December 27, Pearl Mayor Jake Windham said during a Thursday news conference.

The city provided video of the incident to the FBI and hired an attorney to review the police department’s policies and procedures and provide training assistance.

“We handle things swiftly around here. I think there’s a stark contrast between the Pearl Police Department in this incident and the Goon Squad,” the mayor said. “It does paint us in a negative light. I’m not running from that. I just think there’s a clear difference in how we’re handling it, than it has been handled nationally or on a local level. We have a no tolerance for things of this nature.”

“If you’re going to be a police officer, you’ve got to do things right. You’ve got to operate within the Constitution of the United States,” Windham said. “And I feel very strongly about that, and I apologize to the family of this gentleman, that was exposed to just the type of negligent and horrible type treatment from an officer of the law.”

Windham said Green had been with the Pearl Police Department for approximately six months and had “some personnel issues, but nothing like this.”

He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 12 and faces a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison, a news release from the US Attorney’s Office said.

CNN’s Jade Gordon contributed to this reporting.

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