Officer John Nicholson

Officer John Nicholson

San Francisco Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, February 16, 1884

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John Nicholson

Officer John Nicholson was stabbed after interrupting a burglary in progress at a grocery store at 1131 Pacific Avenue in San Francisco.

The suspect fled with Officer Nicholson in pursuit. Officer Nicholson chased the suspect to the corner of Pacific Avenue and Mason Street, where a struggle ensued, and the suspect stabbed him and fled. Officer Nicholson continued the chase and fired three shots at the suspect.

The suspect then turned on Officer Nicholson again and stabbed him in the neck and face, killing him.

In 1902, Officer Nicholson's photograph was installed at the San Francisco Police Headquarters, along with four other officers killed in the line of duty, where it was displayed until the California earthquake of 1906 when all of the portraits were lost.

Officer Nicholson had served with the San Francisco Police Department for over three years. He was survived by his fiancee.

He is buried at what used to be Calvary Cemetery, now Holy Cross Cemetery, in Colma, California.


  • Age 37
  • Tour 3 years, 10 months
  • Badge 355

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Never identified


Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Nicholson,
On today, the 140th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of San Francisco.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

February 16, 2024

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