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Two Mississippi Cops Killed in Traffic Stop Turned Drug Search

The two Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police officers killed last Saturday died after a traffic stop turned into an attempted search for drugs and other contraband. Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate become the 23rd and 24th persons to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

According to the Associated Press, Officer Deen, the department's drug dog handler, stopped a car driven by Joanie Calloway for speeding. Also in Calloway's vehicle were her boyfriend, Marvin Banks, and another passenger, Cornelius Clark.

Officer Deen decided to search the vehicle and called for backup. This is the point the incident turned from a "routine traffic stop" to a drug war incident. (At a Monday eulogy for Deen, his comrades described him as an enthusiastic officer who made "many drug arrests with his dog, Tomi, at his side.")

When Officer Tate arrived, Deen told the trio to get out of the car. At that point, Banks produced a weapon and shot both officers, Deen in the face and Tate in the lower back.

Both officers were wearing bulletproof vests, but the vests did not protect them from either the head shot or the shot to the back. Both died shortly thereafter.

According to USA Today, Banks has a drug-related criminal history, an ongoing drug habit, and mental issues. He was arrested for both the sale of crack cocaine and possession of a stolen firearm in a three-month period in 2010, and possession of marijuana in 2011. In 2013, he was arrested again on crack cocaine sales charges, and last October, he was arrested for trespass at the University of Southern Mississippi. He had already done two stints on prison, and the drug charge was still pending when he was pulled over.

Banks's mother, Mary Smith, told USA Today that he smoked synthetic marijuana on a daily basis and that he had been hearing voices since being attacked and struck over the head with a pipe several years ago.

"You could tell something was wrong with him," she said. "I hate it for these families that he wasn't in his right mind."

Now, Banks is charged with capital murder, Calloway is charged with being an accessory after the fact, and Clark is charged with obstructing justice. Deen will be buried Thursday and Tate's funeral is set for Sunday.

Hattiesburg, MS
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Synthetic marijuana?

I don't understand calling it synthetic marijuana. People die from smoking phony marijuana and that wouldn't happen from synthesized marijuana. Cannabis only users aren't known for shooting police officers either, even though they arrest us in hugh numbers. It doesn't deserve to be called synthetic marijuana, that's what the greedy, reckless people who are making and selling it want it to be called.

Killed Law Enforcement Officers

I wonder what the two law officers background is like, have they shot anybody or been reprimanded, suspended etc.

drug prohibition promotes violence

Do we not agree that drug legalization is a better option than killing drug users, dogs, and/or cops?

 Regardless of what one thinks of any of the individuals involved here, the whole mess of shit could easily have been avoided by rejecting the absurdity of treating drugs as crimes.  Take drug prohibition out of the story, and you have a dramatically different hypothetical scenario: no drug deals, crimes, charges, or prison time; possibly, no pipe to the head, who knows?  Certainly no drug dog, no drug shakedown.

Frank Zappa pointed out, drugs are chemicals and are neither good nor bad; but they don't give you the right to be an asshole. That goes for cops and citizens alike.

i think a lot of cops don't

i think a lot of cops don't need to 'do drugs' to be assholes. what goes around comes around... law of karma. anyhow, mr. mitchell, i liked your comment up til the zappa quote, which implies or reinforces the notion that 'drugs' can make people act like assholes. while this may certainly be true (particular with the legal non-'drug', alcohol), i don't care for the emphasis on the negative. there's already too much of that in lamestream society when it comes to 'drugs'. let's not forget that 'drugs' can also have many life enhancing, therapeutic, and medical applications (which, of course, are always denied or downplayed in lamestream society, which is why they need to be emphasized here)!

sorry, i got the name wrong,

sorry, i got the name wrong, mr. mitcham.

Drug War Money-go-Round

Being aware of former President Richard Millhouse Nixon's corruption riddled background, is it any real wonder that his initiation of the War on Drugs was a setup for a 40+ year "Money-go-Round"?  It is in the process of being destroyed at the present but look at how many individuals and groups oppose legalization of marijuana. It has played a major role in keeping sick individuals in and out of prison and treatment programs that are not science based and do not work long-term. Get arrested, pay, go to court, pay, go to jail or probation, pay, go to a "treatment program that is not designed to treat the illness of addiction, pay, get out of treatment and go self-medicate with alcohol, pay, or street drugs, pay, violate probation, pay, go back to another treatment program that is not really designed to work for a genetic based addiction and pay, get out and the genetic and neurobiopsychosocial aspects of the illness of addiction dictate a return  to self-medication, pay, and on and on and on. Got the picture?

Fortunately, sound and in-depth science over the past 40+ years has targeted a genetic based addiction and know how it works. Science also has come up with some very unique and effective methods of dealing with the illness of addiction. Long-term recovery to a quality of mental, physical, social and spiritual health using the in-depth scientific research into the genetics, epigenetics, and neurosciences have been the available missing factors in treatment to this day. Now has come the time to pay for real treatment that works and provides the individual addict an excellent opportunity in achieving the functional independence that has been missing all of his or her life. It is happening now. Long-term recovery of over 35 years is starting to be less rare. Long-term recovery beyond two years is starting to become common as a result of highly individualized treatment using sound science along with the best aspects of a psychosocial form of AA. That is where the problem has been all along. Providing only a psychosocial form of AA, and in some cases a little reasonable physical health care and leaving the cause of the addiction untreated through sound science proven methods out of the picture simply does not work and never has. Sure, those who had a temporary chemical dependency made it, but the disease of addiction was not being treated in over 90% of the cases. How to stop the 'Money-go-Round" problem is already being implemented and nothing is going to stop it. How does it work? A little to complex to cover here but, trust me, it is in effect and it works.

AA and science

I dig what you're saying.

As  a recovering alcoholic myself, a member of AA, and a self-identified  stoner, I encounter enormous skepticism regarding my sobriety.  I quit alcohol and tobacco, and use cannabis as part of a healthy lifestyle which includes healthy food and exercise.  But if I try explaining that to people who don't get it, they tell me I'm in denial: just switching one drug for another.  But I tell them, "It's the difference between life and death.  I'm going to live!  That may not be a big deal to you, but to me it's huge!"

Luckily for me, I quit going by what other people say; and it saved my life.  I am protecting my sobriety, not some political anti-drug agenda.  Fuck all that.

So, you're right: addiction is complicated.  But that doesn't make it unintelligible, and bullshit walks.

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