Officer William Whitfield

Officer William Whitfield

Indianapolis Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Monday, November 27, 1922

William Whitfield

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.

Bio

  • Age 37
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 276

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, June 18, 1922
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Case never solved

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