Mother of Marvin and Calvin Banks, the Men Who Killed Two Mississippi Police Officers, Speaks

© AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis 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…
© AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis 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…

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 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. He’d told family members he’d started hearing voices, she said. “I offered him help. He just wouldn’t go. He sat there and got high every day. I said, ‘Come on, let’s go get help.’ … He just wouldn’t go.”

Banks and three other suspects, charged as accomplices — including Banks’ brother, Curtis, 26 — made their first court appearances Monday afternoon as Hattiesburg mourned its first officers to be killed in the line of duty in three decades.

Banks was charged with two counts of capital murder, according to the Clarion-Ledger newspaper. Investigators have not discussed a possible motive for the shooting.

City officials set up a donation fund for the officers’ families Monday in addition to a packed memorial vigil for the men.

Residents, officials and the officers’ families gathered at Lake Terrace Convention Center on Monday afternoon to honor Officer Benjamin Deen, 34, the police department’s 2012 officer of the year, and Liquori Tate, 25, a rookie officer not even a year on the job.

“They are the watchmen on our walls of this great city,” Republican Gov. 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, Mississippi,” 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. What a wonderful legacy they lived. … There’s been too much divisive things going on. We need to show people we’re together.”

To the officers’ families, who did not speak at the ceremony, DuPree said, “God loves you. We love you. This community loves you. God bless you.”

In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch — who was represented at the ceremony by Gregory K. Davis, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi — said the shootings were “even more tragic” for happening during National Police Week, when fallen officers are honored.

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Source: Los Angeles Times | Matt Pearce

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