March 21, 1976
April 6, 2016
Age at Death:
Laronda Sweatt was born in Davidson County, a 1994 graduate of Gallatin High School, suffered from bipolar disorder and was on medication. She was unemployed and lived on disability payments. Ms. Sweatt previously worked as a nurse for elders at Habilitation and Training Services Inc. (H.A.T.S.) in Gallatin. “She didn’t bother you unless you messed with her or her daughter.” “That’s the only time she got upset. Other than that, she stayed to herself.” “She was the best mother,” per her 22 year old daughter, who witnessed the incident. “I couldn’t have asked for a better mother. And being a mother was her life. She told me if she could have me again, she would. She loved being a mother. The Lord was the light of her life as was I.” “We were best friends,” her daugher said. “We would hang out, joke and laugh. She was fun and a great person all around. I will miss her laugh.” The two enjoyed walking around town, going to the mall and out to eat. Ms. Sweatt loved reading and her favorite book was the bible.
Laronda Sweatt suffered two fatal shots to her chest by a Gallatin, TN officer. Members of the city's housing authority staff and a Sumner County Sheriff's Office deputy went to her home to serve an eviction notice, investigators said. Ms. Sweatt became combative and injured the deputy in the abdomen with an axe. Police were called to the scene and arrived in less than 5 minutes; the officer's body cam video shows Ms. Sweatt approaching him, axe being held but not in an attack position, and she was not responding to his verbal requests to stop. The police officer fired the fatal shots. A neighbor reported Ms. Sweatt's mental state and mood had begun to deteriorate. Ms. Sweatt's criminal history with Gallatin police dates back to 2012. Court records show two convictions for shoplifting and theft and charges for resisting arrest, driving on a suspended license, and violation of probation.
Was justice served?
No. In October, 2017, the officer's actions were determined to be justified.