In Memory of Police Officer Kejuane Artez Bates
Louisiana Officer Dies from COVID
On April 1, 2020, Louisiana authorities came forward to brief the public regarding the loss of a local law enforcement officer and minister. Police Officer Kejuane Artez Bates, age 36, died from complications of the coronavirus. Bates was an officer with the Vidalia Police Department. He was a community leader and a minister.
Officer Bates was born in Natchez, Louisiana. He graduated from Natchez High School. After graduation, Bates attended the Hope Bible Institute, where he received a doctorate in Bible Psychology. Later, Bates attended Alcorn State University and became employed with the Vidalia Police Department, where he felt he could impact his community.
Another way Bates was a great community leader with his work in the church. He became the Forest Aid Baptist Church pastor, the Minister of Music at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, and the Executive Director of the Youth Department of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Association.
Outside of all his good deeds and community oversight, Bates loved sports, all genres of music, and mentoring youth.
Bates served his community for ten years with the Vidalia Police Department. He had been assigned as a resource officer to the upper elementary school. When classrooms closed, he went back on patrol duty. On Friday, March 20, Bates had a runny nose and a nose bleed. He thought it was allergies as word had been that the virus didn’t impact younger individuals. Bates continued over the weekend to write what would be his last sermon. With the online services, he delivered the sermon to his church members, visibly challenging to get through it.
Bates had pre-existing conditions, which made it more difficult for him to fight the virus. Family members stated that they felt that, over time, Bates had been so many things for so many people, and he didn’t take care of his health. He made everyone in his community the star of his life.
Vidalia Police Department
Reverend Dr. Kejuane Bates gave ten years of his life to the Vidalia Police Department. Over this time, he held many other leadership positions all around the area. His life was to serve others, mentor youth, care for the elderly, and minister to souls.
The Vidalia Police Department serves nearly 5300 residents in the city limits of Vidalia, Louisiana, which is located in Concordia Parish. The department has approximately 22 officers who work to provide safety to the 2.5 square mile town.
Covid has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. It has profoundly impacted the families of law enforcement officers who have died in great numbers during this pandemic. Police Officer Kejuane Artez Bates leaves behind his wife and daughter. He has other extended family, friends, and neighbors who will honor him and his family.
Antuane Johnson shared his grief and remembrances of Officer Bates online. “Kejuane was a gentle giant and a kind soul. As well as a great singer, preacher, father, husband, and little cousin to me. He is truly missed! Heaven has gained an angel. Rest in paradise till we meet again. Love and respect!”
Nearly a year later, the Cabot Police Department shared the story of the gift given to the Bates family in honor of their loss. “The Cabot Police Department was honored to participate in this event alongside the Vidalia, LA Police Department. Police Officer Kejuane Bates of the Vidalia Police Department passed away last year from Covid-19. His wife Chelsea and daughter Madison have relocated to Cabot. The Tunnels to Towers Foundation gifted this mortgage-free home to the Bates family. We would like to welcome Chelsea and Madison to Cabot. We would like to thank the officers from Vidalia for including us in this event.”
Little Bahala Baptist Church shared the loss with their followers on Facebook. “Please remember The Kejuane Bates Family from Vidalia, La. in your prayers. He was a minister, a policeman, an amazing singer. And a friend. He went home to be with his Jesus after contacting Covid-19.”