100 Club of Memphis Honors Award Recipients at its 2024 Annual Dinner

May 15, 2024

Award Recipients

Memphis Police Officer Officer
Solomon Ghoston

Memphis Police Officer Officer
Solomon Ghoston

On February 2, 2023 at 12:09pm, Officers Geoffrey Redd and Solomon Ghoston answered a complaint call of a trespasser at the Clark Tower on Poplar Avenue. The complainant explained that the trespasser was acting suspiciously and had recently departed the premises for the nearby public library. Officers Redd and Ghoston responded to the library. There were more than a dozen people inside when the officers arrived on site. The officers walked into the library and saw a man who fit the description, at a computer station. The officers approached the man and explained why they were there. The man gave the officers his correct name but provided a false date of birth and other incorrect identifying information. After speaking to the man, Officers Redd and Ghoston recognized the man as a suspect in a robbery that had occurred just a few blocks away and they confirmed this suspicion by comparing a photograph of the robbery suspect that they had on hand. Officer Redd asked the man to stand up and the man complied. Officer Redd tried to secure one handcuff on the man and in a sudden, swift move, the man pulled out a gun and fired it directly at Officer Redd, striking him in the head. As Officer Redd was falling forward, the man lost his footing and fell into a computer table, shoving it back into several library patrons. The man pulled his gun up and next aimed at Officer Ghoston. Office Ghoston was moving forward and reaching for his duty weapon and for a fraction of a second both men were mere feet apart with guns aimed directly at each other. Officer Ghoston fired first and the man was struck and began to fall. Ghoston holstered his weapon and moved to assist Officer Redd by removing a library book from a shelf and ripping out several pages, which he used to apply pressure to Officer Redd’s wound. When the man began moving again, Officer Ghoston went to him and secured the man’s weapon and handcuffed him. Officer Ghoston then returned to Officer Redd and continued to attend to him until other officers and paramedics arrived on site.

Officer Geoffrey Redd was transported to the hospital in extremely critical condition and sadly, he never regained consciousness. He was treated for sixteen days before succumbing to his injuries.

The deadliness of this encounter lasted several minutes. Without warning or provocation, this man pulled a weapon, fired it and fatally wounded Officer Redd. He then turned his weapon on Officer Ghoston, posing a threat to the officer and to the patrons and employees of the library. The actions that Officer Solomon Ghoston took were swift and necessary to prevent further injuries or possible loss of life. Officer Ghoston’s actions are made all the more remarkable by the fact that he graduated from the Memphis Police Department Academy in December of 2022, just two months before the date of this incident. Ghoston was still in the Field Training Program with office Redd serving as his Field Training Officer. His actions where remarkable and represent the highest traditions of protecting the public. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his outstanding service.

Bartlett Police Department Lieutenant
Christopher Armstrong

Bartlett Police Department Lieutenant Christopher Armstrong

As President of the Bartlett Police Charitable Foundation, Lt. Christopher Armstrong arranges events throughout the year to raise operating funds to support the work of the Foundation. These funds provide for officers and their families who are in need of support and for those who experience traumatic events, personally and/or professionally. Lt. Armstrong established a Domestic Violence Support Program within the foundation. This provides victims of domestic violence who have no housing options to get the support they need until they can get aid from their friends or family or other available sources. Armstrong also organizes an annual Police Foundation 5K. Proceeds from this race and other sources go to the C.O.P.S. Foundation, which supports fallen officers’ families. The amount of money raised by this event has grown each year, with the 2023 race netting more than $30,000.

For nearly ten years Lt. Armstrong has been an active member of the Tennessee Public Safety Network, as a volunteer and as a peer support officer. He helps guide the mission of the organization, which is to train and aid police officers and other first responders who have experienced trauma and critical incident stress. It should be noted that becoming a member of the
Tennessee Public Safety Network indicates that Lt. Armstrong has experienced personal and/or professional sacrifice of his own, yet he perseveres not only as a police officer but as a person looking out for the well-being of other officers. In this role he provides critical incident stress debriefing and peer support to officers in Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee. According to Jennifer Johnson, President of the Middle & East Tennessee C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Officers) organization, “Lt. Armstrong is a very kind and giving public servant who deserves recognition for all of the work that he does to provide for others. He goes above and beyond in everything he does. Once he even volunteered to meet my niece off the highway in Memphis, where she was meeting a stranger to buy a dog, just to make sure she was safe. He is a true civil servant!’ All of these efforts that he takes on, he does so in a strictly voluntary basis and is compensated in no way by individuals, organizations, nor the Department. Lt. Armstrong has been tirelessly and enthusiastically involved in charitable work for years. He is committed and he is making a huge impact in areas where the need is great. He is appreciated and we owe this public servant and officer of the law an enormous debt of gratitude.