Patrolman Edward F. Smith

Patrolman Edward F. Smith

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, May 30, 1931

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Edward F. Smith

Patrolman Edward Smith was shot and killed by a juvenile whom he had caught swimming in the John Marshall High School swimming pool after hours. The boy, 15, his brother, 13, and another boy, 15, he was swimming with were arrested.

Investigating officers who questioned the 15-year-old-killer were perplexed when he confessed to the murder, described how he did it, but showed no emotion or remorse. After the three were detained, he said he and the others were putting their cloths back on when a .22 caliber pistol, he had stolen from a desk in the principle's office, fell from his pocket. He said he picked it up and shot Patrolman Smith because he thought he was going to shoot him. He was arrested and charged with murder. At his probable cause hearing seven days later the judge suggested that the murder charge should be reduced to manslaughter. Patrolman Smith's widow screamed that the suspect had killed her husband and nothing less than a murder charge should not be considered. The entire time she talked the suspect sat and smiled at her.

On July 28, 1931, the suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to 18 years. His attorney immediately appealed. The Illinois Supreme Court awarded a new trial. On January 27, 1933, he was retried and acquitted. The jury stated that the more than two years he spent in jail was sufficient for his crime and that they were convinced when he committed the murder he did not know right from wrong. They also said he had been hopelessly influenced by movies and books about gangsters.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Acquitted in 1933

juvenile offender, trespasser

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Smith,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Chicago.


United States Border Patrol

May 30, 2021

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