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Patrolman Clarence T. Smith | Cleveland Police Department, Ohio Cleveland Police Department, Ohio


Clarence T. Smith

Cleveland Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch: Tuesday, June 6, 1939

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: 9 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Fire

Incident Date: 6/2/1939

Weapon: Person; Alcohol involved

Offender: Convicted

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Patrolman Clarence Smith died from burns received during a liquor raid at 6205 Quincy Avenue.

As they arrived, they saw a woman throw two containers out a window. Patrolman Smith retrieved the containers and found one contained whiskey and the other, alcohol. Placing them on a shelf, he then proceeded to guard the two suspects, a husband and wife. Fearing the suspects might try to destroy the evidence, he decided to hold the containers.

Just as he was lifting the jug containing the alcohol, the male suspect grabbed a wooden coat hanger and smashed the jug, spilling the contents over a lit stove. Flames burst out igniting Patrolman Smith. His partner quickly wrapped him in a mattress to extinguish the flames, but in so doing, received burns to his hands and face. During this time the two suspects escaped. A third person, sleeping in another room, was arrested.

Patrolman Smith was rushed to St. Vincent Charity Hospital in critical condition. Numerous officers gave blood, as did his wife. Four days after the incident, he succumbed to his injuries while his wife was en route to the hospital to give more blood. The man who hit the jug was later convicted.

Patrolman Smith was survived by his wife, two sons, a brother, sister and his parents. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery.

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Always honored, never forgotten.

Sgt. T Jake Jones
Greater Cleveland Transit Police Department, Ohio
June 6, 2016


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