Community events planned to honor Hattiesburg officers Deen & Tate

Community events planned to honor Hattiesburg officers Deen & Tate
Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Community events are planned Tuesday to honor Hattiesburg Police Officers Benjamin J. Deen and Liquori Tate.

The officers were shot during a traffic stop in downtown Hattiesburg on May 9, 2015.  Officers Deen, 34, and Tate, 25, later died at the Forrest General Hospital from their injuries.

On Tuesday morning, the Hattiesburg Police Department will hold it's monthly "Coffee with a Cop"  at Java Werks Coffee & Tea on Hardy Street.  The event is held on the second Tuesday of every month to give the community an opportunity to interact with local law enforcement agencies in a calm, relaxed setting.

This Tuesday, "Coffee with a Cop" will be in honor of Deen and Tate.  HPD said members of the Deen and Tate families are expected to attend "to pause, remember, honor and celebrate the continuing legacy of the two fine officers."  The event starts at 8 a.m. with a prayer vigil scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

"Coffee with a Cop" details:

  • 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.,
  • Prayer vigil at 9:30 a.m.
  • Java Werks Coffeehouse, 2902 Hardy Street

On Tuesday evening, a service is planned at the memorial for the officers on East 4th and Ryan Streets in downtown Hattiesburg.  According to the details on the Facebook event, folks are encouraged to bring cards, letters, drawings and other items to add to the memorial for the families.  The event is open to the public.

Remembering Officers Deen & Tate Memorial:

  • 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • E 4th Street & Ryan Street
  • Moment of silence and prayer service at 6:45 p.m.

Nine people have been charged in connection to the deaths of Deen and Tate.  Joanie Calloway, 24,  was the first suspect to stand trial for her part in the murders.

On May 3, 2017, Joanie Calloway was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison for her part in the traffic stop and deadly shooting.

Calloway was sentenced to 20 years after being found guilty for attempted accessory after the fact to capital murder.  She will serve five years on a guilty verdict of hindering prosecution.  The sentences will run consecutively.

Douglas McPhail, Brodrick Varnado Sr. and Anquanette Alexander are set to stand trial May 11, 2017, in Forrest County Circuit Court for their roles in the murders.

Alexander and McPhail are charged with first-degree hindering prosecution and conspiracy. The two are accused of hiding or disposing of physical evidence in the case.  Varnado is charged with accessory after the fact of capital murder and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He is accused of hiding the murder weapon, a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun.