Killing of Bedford Smith in Tennessee in 1946


Case summary

Bedford Smith (or Bedford White) (1882 - 1946), a railroad worker, was killed by a police officer in Bedford County, Tennessee. Accounts of the incident vary. The police claimed that Smith resisted arrest on a drunkenness charge and attacked Deputy Sheriff James Hall and police officer Freeman Brandon. One of the officers fatally shot Smith. According to an FBI report, the police officers attempted to search Smith’s wife’s luggage. Smith objected to the search and was killed in the ensuing argument.


Alleged perpetrators/other named individuals: [ ]
Perpetrator group type: police

Date of incident: 1946-07-13
Location: Bell Buckle, Bedford County, Tennessee
Location type: public space - urban
Allegation against victim: refusing to allow his wife's luggage to be searched for liquor without a search warrant

Coroner process
Coroner/inquest: [ ]
Finding of no legal responsibility: [ ]

Criminal process
Arrest: [ ]
Charge/indictment/information: [ ]
Grand jury: [ ]
Trial: [ ]
Conviction: [ ]
Sentence: [ ]

FBI case ID:

Atlanta 44-138

DOJ case ID:


death certificates - closed
federal agency records
news articles - closed
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