Special Police Officer Alexander Griffin

Special Police Officer Alexander Griffin

Newburyport Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Sunday, July 20, 1879

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Alexander Griffin

Special Police Officer Alexander Griffin succumbed to injuries he received when he was assaulted on July 4, 1879, while attempting to break up a fight near Kent Street Park.

When Officer Griffin and another officer arrived on the scene and were attempting to arrest a subject, they were attacked and beaten by three men. One of the men jumped on him, and another subject kicked him in the head. Despite his injuries, he remained on duty that night. But the next night, while on duty, he collapsed. Officer Griffin became partially paralyzed and was in and out of consciousness until he died on July 20, 1879.

Two of the subjects were arrested and charged with manslaughter and assault. They were acquitted of manslaughter. One was sentenced to two years and the other one year for assault.

Officer Griffin was a Union Civil War veteran and had served with the Newburyport Police Department for two years and, in 1879, was serving as a special officer when needed.


  • Age 58
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Friday, July 4, 1879
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Two years for assault

arrest attempt, disturbance

Most Recent Reflection

View all 2 Reflections

Officer Griffin, it's disgraceful that your murderers essentially got away with their crime, but it's gotten worse since your sacrifice. That said, God Bless you and thank you for your service to the City of Newburyport. You're a hero and we can only hope that your killers faced true justice at some point, if not in this life, then in the next.

May you forever Rest in Peace, Brother.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

April 14, 2024

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