Tate is the sheriff of Monroeville at the time of Ronda’s murder. He is the most active participant in police and State efforts to suppress evidence in order to illegally convict Walter. Tate is openly racist toward Walter. He coerces Myers to proceed with his testimony by illegal sending him to death row. At the time of the book’s publication, Tate is still the Monroeville Sheriff.
Sheriff Tom Tate Quotes in Just Mercy
The Just Mercy quotes below are all either spoken by Sheriff Tom Tate or refer to Sheriff Tom Tate. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Spiegel & Grau edition of Just Mercy published in 2015.).
Chapter 3 Quotes
We’re going to keep all you niggers from running around with these white girls. I ought to take you off and hang you like we done that nigger in Mobile.
Sheriff Tom Tate Character Timeline in Just Mercy
The timeline below shows where the character Sheriff Tom Tate appears in Just Mercy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Mockingbird Players
Chapter 3: Trials and Tribulations
...failed to identify Walter. Stevenson remarks that public pressure was continuing to build on Sherriff Tate, District Attorney Investigator Larry Ikner, and ABI Investigator Simon Benson. Following an officer’s prompting, Myers... (full context)
...the murder of Ronda Morrison to the “joy and relief” of the white community. Sherriff Tate still hasn’t investigated Walter’s background or whereabouts at the time of Ronda’s murder. Black residents... (full context)
...which reminds Myers of his own childhood burning incident. The next day he calls Sheriff Tate, offering to move ahead with his testimony. Tate personally moves Myers to another prison on... (full context)
...February trial is postponed until August after the key witness, Myers, again refuses to testify. Tate transfers Myers back to death row, where his mental health issues resurface. He is sent... (full context)
Chapter 7: Justice Denied
...that Myers never met Walter, and informs them that during her own criminal investigations, Sherriff Tate had taunted her for “sleep[ing] with niggers.” She expresses her regrets that her drug abuse... (full context)
...about Walter’s case. In a meeting at District Attorney Tom Chapman’s office, Stevenson meets Sherriff Tate and Investigator Larry Ikner for the first time. At this point, it is publicly known... (full context)
Chapter 9: I’m Here
...Rule 32 petition. The tapes reveal Myers’ repeated attempts to recant his testimony while Ikner, Tate and Benson coerce him to continue. Stevenson finishes by calling on Walter’s trial lawyers, Boynton... (full context)
Chapter 13: Recovery
...dollars from each agency responsible for Walter’s conviction. They struggle the most to sue Sherriff Tate, to whom Stevenson refers as the most active and clearly racially-biased contributor. Their lawsuit goes... (full context)