Officer Joseph Brodnik

Officer Joseph Brodnik

San Francisco Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, May 1, 1969

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Joseph Brodnik

Officer Joseph Brodnik was shot and killed when he and his partner stopped two suspicious youths at 431 Alvarado Street.

Officer Brodnik and his partner were working a burglary suppression unit in plain clothes and were operating an unmarked car in the Mission District.

The suspects were part of a larger group of seven juveniles, and they had just committed a daytime burglary. During the confrontation, one of the youths grabbed Officer Brodnik's partner's gun and shot Officer Brodnik, killing him. His partner sustained severe injuries from being beaten by the juveniles.

Six suspects were arrested and acquitted at trial. The seventh suspect fled the country. The suspect believed to have killed Officer Brodnik was later killed in prison. He had been sent to prison for committing an armed robbery in which he was shot and wounded by a San Francisco police officer.

Officer Brodnik had served with the San Francisco Police Department for 13 years. He is survived by his wife and three children. One of Officer Brodnik's sons later became a San Francisco police officer.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Acquitted

suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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I remember when Officer Joe Brodnik was murdered, vividly. A year later I became a sworn member of the SFPD. Worked at Southern and then Central station. I worked under Sgt Ed Fowlie at Central Station. His Dad Sgt Charley Fowlie was at the scene of the shooting. I know as I have a picture of it. Ironically later I became a personal friend of his daughter Colleen.

Gary Dixon
SFPD #1956

May 19, 2022

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