Mom of accused cop killer in Hattiesburg: ‘The drugs had him ‘

12 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bond denied for man accused in Mississippi officer killings.

His mother said she had hoped he would get help. After two police officers were killed in Mississippi over the weekend, the FBI on Monday released a report showing that 51 members of law enforcement were killed in 2014, an 89 percent jump from 2013, when 27 officers were killed.The man accused of killing two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers during a weekend traffic stop was addicted to drugs and possibly heard voices in his head, his mother told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

Mary Smith, the mother of brothers Marvin and Calvin Banks, who are both charged in the shooting deaths of two Hattiesburg police officers on Saturday night, speaks to reporters outside the Forrest County Courthouse in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday, May 11, 2015.Suppressing tears and wearing black bands over their badges, police officers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Monday remembered two slain colleagues as young men who worked as if they’d landed their dream jobs. Mary Smith said she tried again and again to get her son Marvin Banks, 29, who lived with her, to go to Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services for all the marijuana, “spice” and pills he took. “The drugs had him,” Smith said of her son, who was unemployed. Older brother Marvin, 29, is charged with two counts of capital murder and his younger brother Curtis, 26, is charged with two counts of being an accessory to murder after the fact. One of them, 34-year-old married father of two Benjamin Deen, was a K-9 officer who loved busting drug dealers and won an “Officer of the Year” award in 2012 for saving a family from a burning building, fellow cops said at a Monday afternoon memorial service.

Mary Smith told The Associated Press that her son smoked synthetic marijuana known as “spice” daily and had been hearing voices ever since he was attacked and hit in the head with a pipe several years ago. Numbers suggest nothing much has changed as the levels of homicide involving either police or suspects hasn’t changed much at all and — in some cases has even gone down.

Similarly, the New York Times reported last week that the level of deaths among civilians at the hands of the police has been fairly stable — about 400 a year or so — until 203 when the number of justifiable homicides by police rose to 461, according to FBI stats. Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said investigators were still trying to determine the motive behind the shooting. Phil Bryant, a former deputy sheriff, said at the vigil, which was televised. “They made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the people of this city … because it was their job.” Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree drew a standing ovation from the audience when he said the nation viewed the town, population 47,556, “not as a Baltimore, not as a Ferguson, they view us as Hattiesburg, Miss.” because of officers like Dean and Tate. “You heard from their classmates, people” who knew them, said DuPree, a Democrat. “They talked about them like they loved them. She said she was resting before work when she got a call Saturday night that two officers had been shot and that Marvin, who is known by “Big Boy,” was involved. In their initial court appearance Monday, Forrest County Justice Court Judge Gay Polk-Payton denied bond to Marvin Banks, who was convicted of a felony in 2010 for possession of a stolen gun.

However, both Banks brothers were on bond for 2013 drug charges at the time of their arrest, and Polk-Payton revoked those bonds, meaning Curtis Banks is also likely to remain in jail. She said after Curtis’ arrest, he complained to her that officers had kicked him repeatedly, stripped him of his clothes and were holding him in cold cell. She has not talked to Marvin since his arrest. “The way police here in Hattiesburg harass young black men, you could tell something was going to happen, but I never thought it would be my sons,” she said. CBS affiliate WHLT reported that a candlelight vigil was held for the slain officers Sunday night at the Hattiesburg Police Department substation in West Hattiesburg.

Of the 50 officers killed by gunfire in the U.S. in 2014, eight were slain during traffic stops and 15 in ambushes, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks police fatalities.

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