Four Suspects Now Charged in Deaths of Police Officers in Mississippi

Four Suspects Now Charged in Deaths of Police Officers in Mississippi

Saturday night, Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate were murdered during a traffic stop in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The details are gut-wrenching, as the officers were left to die in the street while one of their patrol cars was stolen.

(Spokesman Warren) Strain said one officer stopped a 2000 Gold Cadillac Escalade in an industrial corridor about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, a second officer arrived to assist him and shots were fired.

Hattiesburg residents Tamika Mills and Pearnell Roberts discovered the two officers who had been shot. The pair got out to check on the officers and called 9-1-1.

“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,” Mills said. “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.'”

Both officers died of their wounds at a local hospital.

Hattiesburg police officers Liquori Tate and Benjamin Deen (photo: special to The Clarion-Ledger)
Hattiesburg police officers Liquori Tate and Benjamin Deen (photo: special to The Clarion-Ledger)

Four suspects have now been arrested.

Marvin Banks is also charged with grand theft for driving away in one of the police cruisers after the shooting, ditching it only four blocks away from the scene.

Calloway was in the car that was pulled over with Banks, and was reported to have been the driver.

Curtis Banks is the brother of Marvin Banks, and was also reported to be in the car.

Clark was also allegedly a passenger in the car.

In the meantime, the community is grieving.

Officer Tate’s family has come forward to talk about him, and others who are speaking about Officer Deen.

However, the ghouls have come out in a gruesome way. After the shooting, a Subway employee celebrated their deaths on Facebook, while showing a picture of herself in her work outfit.

She has now been fired.

The woman’s Facebook page has since been locked. Her Instagram page has been set to private.

“This kind of behavior is unacceptable and does not represent the values and ethics of our brand,” a Subway spokesperson said in an email to The Clarion-Ledger. “The unfortunate choice of one individual should not reflect on the more than 400,000 honest, hardworking Sandwich Artists worldwide. The franchisee has terminated the employee, effective immediately.”

Unfortunately, self-declared journalists are just as ghoulish and nasty.
In the last week, four police officers have been murdered in the line of duty: Officer Brian Moore, Sgt. Greg Moore, and now Officers Deen and Tate. Post-Ferguson, post-Eric Garner, and now with Baltimore ongoing, there is an increasing amount of violence against police officers, even during what should be routine parts of their job. Let’s not forget the ambush killing of Officers Liu and Ramos in New York last December, either. I asked at that time if it was open season on police. Every time another death happens during an interaction with the police and it gets picked up by the national media and the professional protesters, the police become targets, even in places unrelated to the protests. Even in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

While we don’t yet have a motive to the murders of Officers Deen and Tate, I doubt it will be much different than any other of the most recent cases where a officer was murdered. Someone didn’t want to go to jail, or go back to jail, or get caught doing whatever they were doing, and decided that their wants were worth more than the lives of the officers standing in front of them. And given the political and social atmosphere of the moment, where the lives of police are routinely denigrated on social media and in protests, a toxic combination has been created. These are perpetrators who no longer care about the consequences – moral, ethical, or legal – of shooting the representation of the law in front of them, because they have been given permission not to care.

What can be done to change that? I don’t know. But something has to change, or this is only going to continue, with more and more lives destroyed in the process.

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Ava Gardner