CSX denies having video of Oglala Sioux member killed by or near train

By Albert Bender
Nashville, Tennessee (NFIC) 10-08

On May 31, Oglala Sioux tribal member, Marcus Redbear, was allegedly struck by one CSX train and run over several times by other trains on the tracks that stretch through the eastside of Nashville. So far there are a lot of unanswered questions that his family has of the tragic accident.

“I don’t know what happened, I don’t know why he was there, I don’t understand any of it,” said his wife, Sandra Redbear.

It is not known what time or what train or trains hit him. It is not known if he was alone or accompanied by others. It is not known why another train reported the accident instead of the earlier train or trains that supposedly hit him.

All CSX trains are supposed to be equipped with surveillance video in the engineer’s seat. The videos could quite possibly provide answers to all the unanswered questions. But more than three months after his death, according to the local police, CSX hasn’t provided the video that could show when Redbear was hit and if he was alone. Now there is a question if such a tape actually ever existed.  

“I am not at all sure that all our trains are equipped with such videos,”  said Bob Sullivan, spokesperson for CSX.

CSX did send the Nashville police one video, but it was not the right one. Redbear was already dead in that video. An autopsy revealed that he died from blunt force trauma, supposedly caused by the impact of the train. But without the video it is very difficult to determine if something else happened before he ended up on the tracks.

Redbear, the youngest of 11 siblings, originally came to Nashville from the Pine Ridge Reservation to work in the construction trade in the early 1990s. His wife Sandra Redbear said he returned often to the South Dakota reservation for religious ceremonies. The couple had eight children.          

On the night of his death, Redbear had gone to a cookout at a nearby friend’s house. He called home about 12:30 a.m. and talked to his wife’s brother until about 1:00 a.m. That was the last time he was heard from.

His wife believes that a person or persons may be responsible for his death.

A railway conductor called the police at about 9:00 a.m. to report seeing a body on the tracks. It is believed he died sometime between midnight and 6:00 a.m. According to his wife there was no reason for him to be on the tracks. Originally, the Nashville police believed Redbear was struck and killed by a train.    

But that has since changed    

“The case is now being treated as a homicide,” said Officer Matthew Filter, the Metro detective assigned to the case.