Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Two more police officers died in the line of duty Saturday night, their lives reduced to a hashtag on Twitter. Officer Benjamin Deen, 34, and Officer Liquori Tate, 25, were shot while on a “routine traffic stop.” One suspect stole one of the police vehicles. Four subjects were arrested for the crime.
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This original story is posted at UncleSam’sMisguidedchildren
Officer Tate was a rookie who graduated less than a year ago from the police academy. His partner, Benjamin Deen, was a K-9 officer who was named officer of the year in 2012.
I graduated the Police Academy today. I am now a Police Officer. I would like to thank God, the Police Academy, the Police Department, my family, friends, and love ones. Liquori Tate, June 11, 2014
Officer Deen stopped a gold Cadillac Escalade at 8:30pm Saturday night. When Tate arrived to assist him, the shots were fired. The officers were found by Hattiesburg residents Tamika Mills and Pearnell Roberts as they got out of their car to check on the two men lying in the street. They then called 911.
They went to assist
“Never in my life have I experienced or seen anything like this except on TV, and to be in the midst of it, it’s shocking and heartbreaking. As we were coming down Fourth Street, we noticed a bunch of lights. As we came on through, (Roberts) told me to turn around because she saw somebody laying on the ground…
So I backed up. That’s when we noticed the officer was down. We just saw that one, but in the course of me being on the phone with 9-1-1, I turned and I saw another officer across the street rolling on the ground. (Roberts) ran across the street to check on him. He wasn’t all the way alert but he asked her, ‘Am I dying? I know I’m dying. Just hand me my walkie-talkie.‘” Tamika Mills
Both officers were rushed to the hospital, where they succumbed to their wounds.
Marvin Banks, 29, and Joanie Calloway, 22, have been charged with two counts each of capital murder, and Curtis Banks, 26, is charged with two counts of accessory after the fact to capital murder. Curtis was not in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, according to police. Marvin was also charged with Grant Theft for stealing the police cruiser after the shooting. The car was recovered not far from the scene.
A 4th subject, Cornelius Clark, was charged with Obstruction of Justice.
BREAKING:4th suspect charged in shooting death of 2 HPD officers Cornelius Clark charged with obstruction of justice. pic.twitter.com/hKBpWSSoAG
— Ryan Moore (@RyanMooreMS) May 10, 2015
Marvin Banks was arrested shortly before 1 am at a hotel. His brother Curtis was arrested at an apartment complex at around 3 am. Calloway was arrested Sunday morning. Clark was also arrested on Sunday morning. They are all being held in locations outside of Forrest county, in separate jails per department policy. The results of toxicology tests are pending, and the investigation is continuing.
From Twitter to reality
When a Subway Employee, C-Babi Denell Senshala, or Sierra C-Babi McCurdy, tweeted that she was glad the cops were killed, a firestorm erupted on Twitter. One would hope that Subway will delete her from their payroll soon.
On the day before Mother’s Day, two mothers lost their sons. Those were proud Moms – their sons were of high integrity and moral character, according to all the accounts. Will we hear any outcry for these men – one white, one black? Not likely. There will just be overwhelming grief for the loss of two men who served the community. It is a trend. Lawlessness abounds.
Prayers for Hattiesburg, for the two women who found the officers, and the families. Scars and images that do not heal quickly.