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Policeman Frederick D. Alderman | Fargo Police Department, North Dakota Fargo Police Department, North Dakota


Frederick D. Alderman

Fargo Police Department, North Dakota

End of Watch: Wednesday, July 5, 1882

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 25

Tour: 2 months

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; Revolver

Offender: No charges filed

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Policeman Fred Alderman was shot and killed as he attempted to track a suspect who had used stolen property to pay a fine. The suspect had been arrested for public drunkenness the previous night and was required to pay eight dollars and fifty cents before he could be released from jail. The suspect claimed that he could not afford the payment, and asked Policeman Alderman if he could use his watch and various other personal goods to settle the debt. Policeman Alderman agreed and paid the remainder of the suspect's fine out of his own pocket.

After the suspect was released, it was discovered that the property he had put towards his fine was stolen. Policeman Alderman and his partner spent the day canvasing the city for tips about the suspect's whereabouts. They were given information that the suspect lived on the outskirts of town, and they proceeded to the house at nightfall.

Fargo Police Officers were not equipped with night lanterns at the time, and, in the darkness, Policeman Alderman mistook a neighboring home for the suspect's residence. Policeman Alderman knocked on the door of the home and asked to be admitted. When he received no response, he attempted to force the door open. As he did so, the occupant of the home opened fire on him, striking him in the chest and killing him instantly.

The woman told police that she had mistaken Policeman Alderman for a tramp who was attempting to break into her house. She was initially charged with Policeman Alderman's murder, but a jury ruled the incident justifiable homicide because Policeman Alderman did not identify himself to the woman.

Policeman Alderman was 25-years old and had served with Fargo Police Department for only two months. He was survived by his wife and brother.

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