Friends, family remember Officer Liquori Tate during funeral - - The News for South Mississippi

Friends, family remember Officer Liquori Tate during funeral

HATTIESBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Hundreds filled West Point Baptist Church in Hattiesburg Saturday morning to say goodbye to Officer Liquori Tate.

Tate and his partner, Benjamin Deen, were killed in the line of duty one week ago.

Most who shared words about Tate had been influenced by him in one way or another.

Now, as a family continues to grieve, others are taking a page from Tate's life, smiling regardless of the situation, and celebrating his life instead of mourning him.

"Some call today's gathering a funeral, but I want to make a correction. This is a celebration," West Point Baptist Church Pastor Marcus Cathey said. "The life that we celebrate, it was a short life, but I got two or three witnesses that would declare it was a significant life."

Music filled the sanctuary of the church as friends, family, and a host of law enforcement officers remembered 25-year-old Liquori Tate.

"He understood, family, that dying was a part of living," said Pastor Michael Williams of College Hill Baptist Church in Jackson.

Many of those who eulogized Tate included pastors who knew him personally and were also family. His uncle, Vern Ross, called Tate by his nickname.

"I'm only crying because Coco meant something to me. My nephew meant something to me," Ross said. "You see, Coco was quiet. Coco was simple. Coco was loving. And he loved us so much, that like somebody 2,000 years ago, he gave his life so that we might have life."

The deaths of these two Hattiesburg police officers comes at a time when police scrutiny is at an all-time high nationwide.

"Yeah I can understand when they do wrong, you march, baby, but we have lost two good men, and nobody has marched, nobody has -- where you at?" said Pastor Dennis Johnson, who's also Tate's uncle. "Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, where are you?"Johnson then recalled Tate's last words that Saturday night.

"Officer Tate asked the question, 'Am I dying?' Well, nephew, I come to answer your question. No, sir," Johnson said.

Many in the church took solace in their faith that Tate is now in a better place.

"He entered eternity, but he did not enter eternity as Coco! No, he entered eternal life as Officer Tate," Ross said.

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