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Officer William Whitfield | Indianapolis Police Department, Indiana Indianapolis Police Department, Indiana

Officer

William Whitfield

Indianapolis Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch: Monday, November 27, 1922

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 37

Tour: 12 years

Badge # 276

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 6/18/1922

Weapon: Handgun; Revolver

Offender: Case never solved

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Officer William Whitfield succumbed to gunshot wounds suffered five months earlier while chasing a suspect.

The officer was in plainclothes on foot patrol when he entered an alley just west of 3500 North Collage Avenue and noticed a roughly-dressed man. He asked the man what he was doing there and the man suddenly turned and ran, with Officer Whitfield in pursuit. During the chase the man suddenly turned and fired several shots from a revolver, striking Officer Whitfield once in the abdomen. He was able to stumble back to the street where he collapsed. Passers-by took him to a hospital where he lingered for five months before succumbing to his injuries. The suspect was never captured.

Officer Whitfield had served with the Indianapolis Police Department for 12 years. As he was initially buried in an unmarked grave, on November 30, 1998, he was given a full-honors funeral after members of the department contributed to the purchase of a headstone for his grave site.

Officer Whitfield is the first known African-American law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in the state of Indiana, and the first of three unsolved police murders in Indianapolis.

He was survived by his two sisters.

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S. I. Drake, Lt/IPD-IMPD (Ret)
Indianapolis Police
November 27, 2016

 

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