Chief of Police Joe Ben Jenkins

Chief of Police Joe Ben Jenkins

Cartersville Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Friday, September 5, 1930

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Joe Ben Jenkins

Chief of Police Joe Jenkins was shot and killed with his own service weapon while struggling with an intoxicated subject.

Chief Jenkins was at home when he was awakened by a noise at 1:00 am after two men stopped a car in front of his house to drink. He placed the men under arrest and then asked a passerby to cover them so he could return to his home to dress before taking the prisoners to jail.

As he turned around one of the drunk men turned the car on, prompting Chief Jenkins to retrieve his gun and confront the man. A struggle ensued in which the man disarmed Chief Jenkins and then shot him.

The suspect was lynched by an angry mob on October 1st, 1930, after being taken from the county jail.

Chief Jenkins had served with the Cartersville Police Department for 12 years. He was survived by his wife and nine children and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia.


  • Age 65
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Lynched by mob

at home, DIP, off duty

Most Recent Reflection

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Joe Ben Jenkins was my uncle, I have a photograph of the Lynched John "Willy" Clark. The photo is hidden and stuck away due to its obvious ugly depiction of the past where people took the law into their own hands!

Rex Abernathy

June 11, 2023

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