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When duty called, Officer Geoffrey Redd answered

Officer Geoffrey Redd’s legacy lives on in the way he lived his life.

On Feb. 2, the Memphis Police Department officer was left fighting for his life after being shot by a suspect trespassing the White Station Library. 

Redd, 49, a member of the MPD for 15 years, died Saturday (Feb. 18). 

“As you can imagine, his family as well as the church family is deeply saddened,” said Bishop Brandon Porter, pastor of Greater Community Temple, where Redd worshipped.

The suspect in Redd’s shooting, Torence Johnson, died on the scene when Redd’s partner returned fire.

Bishop Brandon Porter

According to Porter, this was Redd’s second close call with death.

“One year ago, Officer Redd was on traffic detail when he was hit by an on-coming car,” said Porter. “Officer Redd was propelled several feet up into the air and landed on his face. He almost lost an eye.”

Porter said after the accident, Redd was left without the ability to walk.

“Redd’s mother would bring him to church in a wheelchair,” said Porter. “The church prayed for him, and he began to improve. He regained the ability to walk and live independently. 

“And what did he do? Redd went right back to work for the Police Department. He really had a sincere desire to protect and serve his community.”

A statement released by the MPD said Redd served at the Old Allen, Union, Raines, Mt. Moriah, Ridgeway, and Apple Farms stations. 

Redd formerly served in the U.S. Marine Corps, MPD said. 

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. issued a statement, expressing sympathy on behalf of his department:

“I was deeply saddened to hear that Memphis Police Officer Geoffrey Redd has succumbed to his injuries and passed away today. On behalf of all the men and women of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, I offer my prayers and deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the Memphis Police Department. He died protecting the citizens of Memphis and Shelby County, and we are truly heartbroken.”

Porter recalled the time when Redd first came to the church.

“Officer Redd noticed that we were one of a very few churches still involved in activities, despite the pandemic,” said Porter. “It was March of 2020 when he joined Greater Community Temple.

“We asked him to be director of security, and he said ‘yes.’ And he has been working diligently in that capacity from that time. Officer Redd was also a teacher and a minister. He was an excellent Sunday School teacher.”

Porter said Redd’s death for his family was especially devastating, but especially so to his wife.

“When Officer Redd came to join our church, he saw a woman who he would later marry,” said Porter. “I married them, and I know his death is especially hard for his wife. She is a wonderful, Christian lady who is over our counseling. 

“I’m thinking Redd is looking at counseling, but it turns out he is looking at something altogether different.”

Porter said the two had only been married a few months.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis, released a statement, expressing condolences to the family:

“I was very saddened to learn of the death of officer Redd. Two weeks after the shooting, I hoped he was going to make it. Sadly, that was not the case. He responded properly to a call and did his job as an officer. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and his many friends.”

Final arrangements are expected to be complete by the weekend. R.S. Lewis & Sons has charge.

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