Connect with us

National

Mother: Son Accused in Officer Killings Had Drug Problem

Published

on

This combination of undated photos released the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation shows, Marvin Banks, left, and his brother Curtis Banks. The brothers are wanted in the fatal shooting of two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers on Saturday, May 9, 2015.  (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation via The Hattiesburg Police Department via AP)

This combination of undated photos released the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation shows, Marvin Banks, left, and his brother Curtis Banks. The brothers are wanted in the fatal shooting of two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers on Saturday, May 9, 2015. (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation via The Hattiesburg Police Department via AP)

JAY REEVES, Associated Press
JEFF AMY, Associated Press

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Marvin Banks’ drug use and drinking had worsened in recent years and he was hearing voices in his head.

His mother said she had hoped he would get help. He didn’t, and now he is charged with capital murder in the deaths of two police officers in Mississippi. His girlfriend and brother are charged as accessories and a friend faces an obstruction charge.

Banks’ mother, Mary Smith, said when she saw the booking photos of her 26-year-old son, she knew something was off.

“He was sick and out of his head and I tried to get him some help,” she said on the steps of the Forrest County Courthouse, where she had gone to find out more information about her sons’ arrest.

Marvin Banks had been smoking synthetic marijuana, known as spice, every day.

“He was on that spice. He was on every drug there was. Spice, powder, marijuana, drinking,” she said.

Marvin Banks is accused of shooting officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate. The officers died Saturday after Deen was shot in the face, and Tate in the back.

Banks and another man identified as Cornelius Clark were passengers in a Hyundai that Deen stopped for speeding, said Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain. The car was driven by Banks’ girlfriend, 22-year-old Joanie Calloway, Strain said. Deen called Tate for backup when he decided to search the car. Strain said that when officers asked the three to get out of the car, Banks shot Deen and Tate.

Calloway was initially charged with two counts of murder, but authorities lowered those charges to accessory to murder after the fact Monday. Clark, 28, is charged with obstruction. Banks’ brother, 29-year-old Curtis Banks, is also charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

More than 1,000 people filled a hall at the Hattiesburg convention center Monday for a memorial. With photos of the uniformed men projected above the stage, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant — himself a former sheriff’s deputy — said the city was enduring a difficult, sad time.

“We will persevere, we will prevail,” he said.

Marvin Banks and his 6-year-old son lived with Smith, who works the night shift at a nursing home. She said she was resting before work when she got a call Saturday night that her son, known by “Big Boy,” was involved in the shootings.

After that, Curtis Banks called and said he had nothing to do with it and had been at his apartment at the time.

Smith said Marvin was attacked several years ago by a man who hit him in the head with a pipe. The reason for the attack wasn’t clear, but he spent time in intensive care.

She said she repeatedly urged him to get help for his drug addiction and apparent mental illness, but he wouldn’t go.

Katie Walmon, the mother of Marvin’s son, said he had changed.

“He said he was hearing voices in his head. I say it was the devil,” she said.

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. She set Curtis Banks’ bond at $100,000. 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. The judge set $75,000 bonds for both Calloway and Clark.

Marvin Banks also was charged Monday with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and with grand theft for fleeing for a few blocks in a squad car after the shooting and then ditching the vehicle, authorities said.

Smith said she was trying to get lawyers for both of her sons. 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 mother said officers often stop young black men without cause in Hattiesburg, sometimes simply to ask them what they are doing.

“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.

Police didn’t immediately respond to a telephone call Monday.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday that the officers’ deaths “is made even more tragic by the fact that, on the day they were killed this past Saturday, the country began observing Police Week – a time when we pause to remember and honor the more than 20,000 law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.”

Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home said Deen will be buried Thursday following a funeral in nearby Sumrall. A funeral home McComb said arrangements for Tate will be released Tuesday.

Deen, 34, is a former “Officer of the Year” in Hattiesburg. He was married and the father of two.

Family spokesman J.T. Taylor said he would want his friend of more than 30 years to know that he was going to take care of his family.

Tate, 25, graduated from the police academy last year.

Tate grew up in Starkville, 150 miles north of Hattiesburg. Strain said he was a 2014 graduate of the law enforcement academy. He grew up wanting to be a policeman.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Events

Ella Baker Center Turns 25

Community members will have the opportunity to join the celebration virtually or in person at Restore Oakland at 1419 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

Published

on

Michelle Alexander/Photo via pbs.org

Alicia Garza

Co-founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Alicia Garza and Michelle Alexander, acclaimed author of “The New Jim Crow,” will join youth justice leader Xochtil Larios to discuss a collective vision for liberation at the Ella Baker Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27.

After 25 years of working to empower Black and Brown communities and fighting for a world without prisons and policing, the event will seek to inspire organizers, community members and changemakers to reflect on past victories in the movement for social justice and imagine how to continue moving toward a world based on justice.

The event will include entertainment by musicians, poets as well as comments by founders of the Ella Baker Center, Dianna Frappier and Van Jones. Community members will have the opportunity to join the celebration virtually or in person at Restore Oakland at 1419 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

The in-person event will be held outdoors and available to vaccinated guests only. 

To RSVP for the virtual event, please email ashley@ellabakercenter.org by Oct. 14 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

Black History

Ambassador Ruth A. Davis Pioneered Diversity in Foreign Service

UC Berkeley Grad Continues to Bring International Economic Empowerment for Women

Published

on

Ambassador Ruth A. Davis (left) is meeting with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Ambassador Ruth A. Davis was recently named as a distinguished alumna by the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. 

She also has been honored by the U.S. State Department when a conference room at the Foreign Service Institute in Virginia was named in honor of her service as director of the Institute. She was the first African American to serve in that position.

Davis, a graduate of Spelman College received a master’s degree from UC Berkeley in 1968.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, also a graduate of the School of Social Welfare, now chairs the House Appropriations Committee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. She praised Ambassador Davis as “a trailblazing leader and one of the great American diplomats of our time. Over her 40-year career, she had so many ‘firsts’ on her resume: the first Black director of the Foreign Service Institute, the first Black woman Director General of the Foreign Service, and the first Black woman to be named a Career Ambassador, to name just a few.

“She served all over the world, from Kinshasa to Tokyo to Barcelona, where she was consul general, and to Benin, where she served as ambassador,” Lee continued. “ I am so proud of her many accomplishments. She has represented the best of America around the world, and our world is a better place because of her service.”

During Davis’ 40-year career in the Foreign Service, she also served as chief of staff in the Africa Bureau, and as distinguished advisor for international affairs at Howard University. She retired in 2009 as a Career Ambassador, the highest-level rank in Foreign Service.

Since her retirement, Ambassador Davis has served as the chair (and a founding member) of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), an organization devoted to promoting women’s economic empowerment by creating an international network of businesswomen.

She also chairs the selection committee for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship at Howard University’s Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center, where she helps to oversee the annual selection process. Finally, as vice president of the Association of Black American Ambassadors, she participates in activities involving the recruitment, preparation, hiring, retention, mentoring and promotion of minority Foreign Service employees.

Gay Plair Cobb, former Regional Administrator of the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor in the Atlanta, and San Francisco offices, was Ambassador Davis’ roommate at UC Berkeley. Cobb said, “Ruth always exhibited outstanding leadership and a determined commitment to fairness, equal opportunity and activism, which we engaged in on a regular basis.”

Davis has received the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award, Arnold L. Raphel Memorial Award and Equal Employment Opportunity Award; the Secretary of State’s Achievement Award (including from Gen. Colin Powell); the Director General’s Foreign Service Cup; two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards; and Honorary Doctor of Laws from Middlebury and Spelman Colleges.

A native of Atlanta, Davis was recently named to the Economist’s 2015 Global Diversity List as one of the Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life and is the recipient of the American Foreign Service Association’s Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award.

 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

Black History

The Way West: Reparations Task Force Looks at Black Migration to California

During its third meeting, California’s Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans looked at reasons formerly enslaved Black people migrated to the Golden State — and detailed setbacks they faced after arriving. 

"Scott and Violet Arthur arrive with their family at Chicago's Polk Street Depot on Aug. 30, 1920, two months after their two sons were lynched in Paris, Texas. The picture has become an iconic symbol of the Great Migration. (Chicago History Museum)"[1]/ Wikimedia Commons

 I was leaving the South

to fling myself into the unknown…

I was taking a part of the South

to transplant in alien soil,

to see if it could grow differently,

if it could drink of new and cool rains,

bend in strange winds,

respond to the warmth of other suns

and, perhaps, to bloom.

- Richard Wright, the author of Black Boy, 1945

    During its third meeting, California’s Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans looked at reasons formerly enslaved Black people migrated to the Golden State — and detailed setbacks they faced after arriving. 

    During the period historians dub the “Great Migration”– which lasted from the early 1900s through the 1970s – approximately 6 million Black Americans relocated from Deep South states to Northern, Midwestern, Eastern and Western states. Significant numbers ended up in California, escaping Jim Crow laws and racial violence and seeking economic opportunity. 

     Isabel Wilkerson, author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, “described the movement as “a redistribution of Black people.”  

    “It was the only time in America’s history that American citizens had to flee the land of their birth just to be recognized as the citizens that they had always been,” Wilkerson said, pointing out that no other group of Americans has been displaced under similar conditions.

     After President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the Reconstruction era began. It was a period of prosperity as some Blacks in different places began to establish businesses and communities; contest for (and win) political office; establish schools, and more. 

     But it was short-lived because of white backlash, Wilkerson said. 

     By the early 1900s, racist white Southerners began to terrorize freed Black people with cross burnings, and racial violence — and discriminate against them by instituting Jim Crow laws. 

     There was a spike in lynchings, and a sharecropping system that mirrored the conditions of slavery began to take form in the 11 former slaveholding states.

     Under those policies, opportunities for Blacks were almost nonexistent.

    After World War World I began in Europe in 1914, there was a shortage of labor. Factories started luring Black people North to fill vacancies. By 1919, an estimated 1 million Southern Blacks had departed for the North.

    By the 1930s, the Great Depression had slowed Black migration. But the revival of the exodus from the South, a period historians call the “Second Great Migration,” started around 1939. 

     This time around, California was a major destination. 

    As Black people left the South, Wilkerson said, they “followed three, beautifully predictable streams — pathways to freedom.” The first two led to Eastern and Midwestern states. The “West Coast stream,” Wilkerson told the task force, “carried people from Louisiana and Texas out to California and the entire West Coast.”

    World War II created an expansion of the country’s defense industry, according to the Southern California public television network,. During this time, more jobs were available to African Americans. California cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland began to see an influx of Black people.

    According to KCET, a Southern California public television network, the Black population in Los Angeles grew from 63,700 in the 1940s to 763,000 in 1970. The migration was largely fueled by job openings in industries manufacturing automobiles, rubber, and steel. The presence of Blacks became evident along Central Avenue between 8th and 20th streets in California’s largest city.

     “(Black southerners) were recruited to the North and West to fill labor shortages in the steel mills, factories and shipyards,” Wilkerson said. “It turned out that they wanted the labor but did not want the people.”

    The response to the Great Migration was “structural barriers of exclusion,” Wilkerson said. Restrictive covenants required white property owners to agree not to sell to Black people and many areas in large and mid-range cities were redlined to deny services to Blacks. 

   “By law and by policies, parents, grandparents or great-grandparents of almost every African American alive today (were denied) the greatest source of wealth in this country: homeownership, the American Dream itself,” Wilkerson said.  

    “With all the testimony I’ve heard, I don’t see how any person of conscience, character and civility could not understand that the facts have been given,” said Task Force vice-chair, the Rev. Amos Brown, pastor of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and president of that city’s NAACP branch. 

   The purpose of the nine-member task force is to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans and recommend appropriate ways to educate the Californians about the task force’s findings.

    Sanctioned from 1619 to 1865, legalized slavery in the United States deprived more than 4 million Africans and their descendants of citizenship rights and economic opportunity. After it was abolished, government institutions at the federal, state, and local levels perpetuated, condoned, and often profited from practices that disadvantaged African Americans and excluded them from participation in society.

     “On those sugar, rice, and tobacco fields (in the deep south) were opera singers, jazz musicians, novelists, surgeons, attorneys, professors, accountants, and legislators,” Wilkerson said. “How do we know that? Because that is what they and their children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren have often chosen to become.”

    Wilkerson first gained national attention in 1994, when she became the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1994, while employed as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times.

    Wilkerson’s parents are both from Southern states, but they stayed in Wash., D.C., where she was born, after meeting at Howard University. It was her parents’ migration northward, she says, that inspired her research on an era that helped to shape the country’s current demographics.  

     “Slavery has lasted so long that it will not be until next year, 2022, that the United States would have been a free and independent nation for as long as slavery lasted on this soil,” she said. 

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending