Patrolman Howard L. Peterson

Patrolman Howard L. Peterson

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Sunday, November 1, 1931

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Howard L. Peterson

Patrolman Howard Peterson suffered a brain aneurysm during a heated argument with several men.

Patrolman Peterson was off-duty and with his two brother-in-laws when he observed a taxi cab being operated in a reckless manner and speeding on Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Patrolman Peterson motioned the driver to pull over, but the vehicle fled with Patrolman Peterson in pursuit. His brother-in-law was driving. The vehicle eventually stopped near the corner of West 21st Street and Mermaid Avenue in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. The cab driver exited the vehicle and fled into a restaurant at the location. He exited several minutes later with a gang of 12 men, some whom Patrolman Peterson had arrested earlier for illegal gambling. A heated argument developed and some of the gang forced his two brother-in-laws back to their car. The next thing they noticed, as well as several witnesses, was Patrolman Peterson lying on the ground and the men running from the location. Patrolman Peterson was found to be unresponsive and transported to the Coney Island hospital where he never regained consciousness and died an hour later.

Everyone including the police thought Patrolman Peterson had been beaten and thrown to the ground, and that is the way it was reported in local newspapers. His autopsy revealed there were no injuries and he had suffered a brain aneurysm and possibly fell to the ground. Several witnesses were interviewed and none could say with confidence that any of the suspects put their hands on him or kicked him.

Patrolman Peterson had served with the New York City Police Department for 11 years and was assigned to the 66th Precinct. He was survived by his wife and six children.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge 9906

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Not available

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Rest in peace Patrolman Peterson.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

October 31, 2023

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