When police officer Benjamin Deen was killed in the line of duty earlier this year, his fellow deputies promised to watch after his family. Fulfilling that final request, deputies stood watch over the casket of Deen’s daughter who died this month of a vial infection.
Officer Deen died while attempting to conduct a routine traffic stop in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and upon his death, local officers made a vow to watch over Deen’s wife and children. That pledge came to the fore upon the death of Deen’s 13-year-old daughter.
“True to their promise,” KIRO reported, “members of the Lamar County Sheriff’s Department continued to care for Melah even after her death.”
The depitues stood guard over the teen’s casket during this week’s funeral at Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.
“It was the whole Sheriff’s Department swapping out all night,” Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel told The Clarion-Ledger on Wednesday. “It’s an honor thing. It’s something we felt like we had to do.”
“It’s a brotherhood,” Rigel added. “We all worked with him, and we just feel like he’s not here to watch over his family and that’s what we’re here for.”
Deen lost his life on May 9 when Marvin Banks, 29, opened fire, killing him and fellow officer Liquori Tate, 25, who had only been with the department for a year.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org