(Memphis) On the heels of a lengthy and brutal custody battle over a fallen officer's children, the Memphis Police Association urges all officers to create wills.
The president of the union, Mike Williams, said officers raised money for Lang's four children and gave it to Vivian Woods Taylor, the maternal grandmother.
But on the stand, she denied receiving any money at all.
Williams said the whole experience has been "interesting," and a "learning process." He said this was the first time they had any issues determining the beneficiary after the death of an officer.
"We've learned that family is not always defined as everybody in the house," he said.
A probate court judge ruled Friday afternoon that the four daughters of fallen Officer Martoiya Lang will be under the guardianship of their maternal grandfather, Marvin Woods.
Woods was not one of the two parties fighting for custody in court.
But Judge Benham told the courtroom, "The person who’s been there the most when they needed was Marvin Woods."
Benham said that Darius Lang, the girls' father, was in contempt of court for owing $11,000 in child support. He also said Woods Taylor, the grandmother, was already burdened taking care of two other children.
With death benefits, life insurance, and trust fund donations, the money for the four daughters tops $1 million.
Williams said looking at this case, "We’ve learned to tell officers that they need to get their affairs in order, specially being on this job, because tomorrow’s not promised to you...We’re going to offer wills. Any officer that wants to get a will, you can come here and get a will for free. We want to be more proactive as opposed to reactive, especially when it comes to the amounts of monies that may be received if one of us is killed."