Special Officer Gerrit George Brandsma

Special Officer Gerrit George Brandsma

Grand Rapids Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Wednesday, December 7, 1921

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Gerrit George Brandsma

Special Officer Brandsma and Detective Samuel Slater were shot and killed after responding to a house to arrest suspect bank robbers. Detective Slater and Officer Brandsma were acting on a tip that said two suspected bank robbers were at a house on Weaver Street SE. The tip was thought to be false by Detective Slater since so many tips had been false throughout the day. Detective Slater elected to take just one officer, Officer Brandsma, to assist him.

As the officers arrived at the home of the tipster, who lived across from the suspect's home, the suspects saw them and turned out all the lights. The two officers watched the home for a short time, and then decided to go knock on the door.

As the two officers were walking up the sidewalk leading to the door of the suspect's home, shots rang out. Detective Slater was shot through the door.

Officer Brandsma rushed the door and forced his way into the home but was shot several times when be entered the home and was killed instantly. Detective Slater staggered back to the tipster's home where he collapsed. He was brought to the hospital by responding officers and died two days later.

Officer Brandsma was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 38
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 11

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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I am the great granddaughter of a slain police officer. I recently found that he is memorialized at the National Law Enforcement Officers memorial in Washington D.C. I would like to communicate with the family.

Carol Anne Edgar

November 20, 2015

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