Patrolman John L. Pendergrass

Patrolman John L. Pendergrass

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, April 3, 1953

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John L. Pendergrass

Patrolman John Pendergrass was shot and killed on West 140th Street near 5th Avenue, in Harlem, while chasing a subject wanted for robbing a liquor store. Patrolman Pendergrass was able to return fire and wound the suspect in the arm.

The subject was taken into custody the next day and charged with murder. He was later convicted of Patrolman Pendergrass' murder and executed on July 15, 1954.

Patrolman Pendergrass was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department's Medal of Honor.

Patrolman Pendergrass served with the New York City Police Department for 24 years and was assigned to the West 135th Street Station (32nd Precinct). He was survived by his mother and sister.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 24 years
  • Badge 5253

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1954

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

April 3, 2021

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