Police Officer John W. Little

Police Officer John W. Little

Birmingham Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Saturday, November 7, 1908

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John W. Little

Police Officer Little was shot and killed as he and another officer attempted to raid an illegal liquor den.

In order to block off escape routes from the house, Police Officer Little went to the back door of the home while his partner knocked on the front entrance. Upon hearing the knocking and ascertaining that the police had come, a guest of the liquor den opened fire on Police Officer Little.

Despite being mortally wounded in the exchange, Police Officer Little was able to return fire and kill the suspect.

The man who owned the den then began shooting at Police Officer Little's partner, who managed to return fire and kill the suspect.


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

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Not available
  • Offender Shot and Killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 14 Reflections

John W. Little is my great-great grandfather. Obviously I never had the opportunity to meet him, but his legacy is very meaningful. He was killed only months after losing his home to fire and while his wife was pregnant. My great grandfather was just a 12 year old boy at the time. As I've read the story, it never ceases to be an unbelievable tragedy, but it also reinforces his character. The Birmingham News received a letter from judge Lee C. Bradley, after Little's death, who wrote:

"In his official career he was absolutely incorruptible. No consideration could swerve him from the performance of his duty, and although in ordinary intercourse, he was modest and gentle, in the performance of his duty he was brave and bold. He was a model officer and in his private life an exceptional man..."

Thank you all for honoring him here.

Jamie Cartledge
Great Great Grandson

September 2, 2021

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