What could have been the silver bullet for understanding what happened to 18-year-old Grant Solomon on July 20, 2020, doesn’t exist, according to a response from the Gallatin (Tennessee) Police Department.
In late July 2023, Luna Shark Media filed an open records request asking for the body camera footage from all of the Gallatin officers who responded to the scene at Ward Performance Institute where Grant Solomon was reportedly hit and dragged to his death by his own pickup truck on July 20, 2020.
The reply finally came this month: there is no footage.
It is unknown whether or not body cam footage ever existed, or it is somehow no longer available, but we do know that Gallatin officers were equipped with body-worn cameras — the presence of their cameras played a part in them being named the nicest place in America by Reader’s Digest in 2017.
That designation came after a 2016 incident where Gallatin Police Chief Donald Bandy released body cam footage the day after an officer-involved shooting.
Gallatin’s camera usage and footage retention policies are unknown at this point, but we are going to submit an open records request to ascertain the department’s standard procedures for the devices.
While we do not have body camera footage, we do have at least part of the police report, though the part we do have is redacted in places, including a list of people labeled person 1, person 2, person 3, person 4, person 5 and person 6 down the left side of the page. The names and all identifying information is blacked out.
Note the smaller list, vehicle 1 and vehicle 2; both of which have all identifying information blacked out.
The officers say there were no witnesses. There is no statement from the WPI coaches included in the files we have, so who are these redacted people? One of the vehicles is likely Grant’s vehicle, but what is the second one?
We have reached out to the Gallatin Police Department for further information. You can expect updates in future episodes of True Sunlight and linked in the members lounge.
Contact Beth Braden
Beth Braden is an award-winning journalist whose mastery of the deep dive is evident in her work.
In addition to Braden’s experience writing about local government, crime and courts, and engaging features from her home state of Tennessee, her byline appears on several internationally-known websites. She is passionate about communicating complex information in an easy-to-understand manner and loves to pore over public records.
Braden joined Luna Shark Media in 2023 armed with a love of truth as she seeks out data from the darkest places, drags it into the light, and provides illuminating analysis. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting, strange museums, and good cups of coffee.
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