Policeman Earl Leonard Riddick

Policeman Earl Leonard Riddick

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, April 23, 1970

Earl Leonard Riddick

Policeman Earl Riddick was shot and killed when he attempted to arrest a bank robber while off duty.

The robber entered the bank carrying a small black bag and went up to a teller and held her up with a .38 revolver. On his way out, he shot the uniformed guard standing by the door, in the chest without warning killing him instantly. The guard was unaware that a robbery had occurred.

Policeman Riddick, in civilian clothes, was in the bank cashing a check. He followed the robber out to the parking lot. The bandit was getting into a 1968 brown Pontiac Firebird. According to witnesses, Policeman Riddick ordered him out of the car with his hands up. The bandit turned and fired, hitting the officer. The officer fell to the pavement but managed to fire his weapon and shot out the rear window of the bandit’s car as he fled.

The bandit got only a short distance from the bank when his shattered rear window attracted the attention of two motorcycle officers who gave chase. The suspect crashed and fled on foot into a nearby backyard where he crawled beneath a trailer. As officers closed in they shot and killed the suspect when he fired at them.

The bandit's gun was tied to other murders and he had been arrested 18 times for various offenses and had been paroled prior to killing Policeman Riddick.

Policeman Riddick was a U.S Army veteran and had served with the Los Angeles Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 14169
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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A long-retired LAPD officer wrote a note to me this week, over 40 years after this murder, and it was so gripping, the memories burned in his mind, not of the killing, but of participation in the funeral and the impact on other police officers. Most potent were his words about the American flag slowly being folded, handed to the captain, who handed it to the chief, who gave it to the widow. All I could think of, is how much the NFL kneeling must hurt police officers, the symbol of the flag is so very strong at police funerals. Those who look at the flag as just a piece of fabric, or even something evil, will never.....never understand.

Police Issues Writer
Widow, husband LASD and then Federal

December 22, 2017

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