‘Coffee With a Cop’ event honors fallen HPD officers Deen and Tate

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — The smell of fresh coffee blended with the memories of our fallen officers burned in our minds today, as family and friends gathered to honor Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate by sharing a cup of coffee with a cop.

Two years ago, on May 9, 2015, the two Hattiesburg Police Department officers were killed in the line of duty while conducting a traffic stop.

The community continues to honor the two on the anniversary of the fallen by holding multiple events throughout the day such as a candlelight vigil held at the scene, Ryan and 4th Street, as well as Coffee with a Cop at Java Werks coffee shop on Hardy Street.

“Today we came here for the second annual remembrance of Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate for their loss of life with sacrifice they gave for our community and for their brothers and sisters,” said Lt. Jon Traxler with HPD.

Every second Tuesday of the month, officers gather at the coffee shop to give the community an opportunity to interact with local law enforcement agencies in a relaxed environment.

Police, firefighters, pastors and members of the Deen and Tate families listened to various people speak, pray for our respondents and discuss the importance of bridging the gap between law enforcement and civilians.

“I know it’s working,” said Ceaser Potenza, owner of Java Werks, “My five-year-old behind me is saying ‘Papa! Papa! Daddy! Daddy! Police!’ and he’s waving and he knows he is watching him.”

Two years later, only one person, Joanie Calloway, has been convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for helping accused killer, Marvin Banks, and hindering prosecution.

As more trials are set to begin, Deen’s mother Mary Deen says it is helping bring closure.

“I knew going into it we will never feel like we will have justice because we lost our son and there’s nothing that can bring justice, but at least they are being found guilty of all charges so that does help,” she said.

Potenza took a moment to say ‘thank-you’ to those who come out every second Tuesday of the month.

“It starts with us and it trickles down,” he said. “And all of sudden they’re seeing it with a different eye, a different sight. Slowly it’s going to go away and of course the men in blue are going to be on our side, always.”









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