Police Keep Vigil Over Casket of 13-Year-Old Whose Dad Was Killed in the Line of Duty

One family has endured more tragedy than anyone should have to, but at least one act of care and kindness has come out of the devastation. Police officer Benjamin Deen was killed in the line of duty last May, and his 13-year-old daughter lost her own life just over a week ago. Her dad's police officer "brothers" took turns standing watch at her casket, two at a time.

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Melah died from complications from a virus earlier this month, and the other officers who served with her dad stood vigil over her body for her wake.

Allen Murray, the president of the Hattiesburg Fraternal Order of Police, said in a statement, "I cannot fathom losing the life of a child, and this child is special to us because of her relation to Officer Deen."

Deen was shot and killed along with another officer six months ago when a routine traffic stop turned deadly in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Murray said that this is an especially difficult loss to the community. He said that they are "really taking this loss to heart because we as police officers are extended family of the Deens and are sad to see such a loss."

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As for the commitment to stand watch over Melah, one officer, speaking to local station WDAM-TV, said simply, "We wanted to be by her side, because her daddy was not able." Another officer, speaking to the Clarion-Ledger, called it a "brotherhood," and 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."

Melah was buried last week after the vigil next to her father. She's survived by mom Robin Deen and a younger brother, Walker Deen. I can't even imagine what they're going through right now, and I hope that the police force continues to be a source of support for them.

 

Image via TODAY

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