Officer John Riley Manning

Officer John Riley Manning

Bessemer Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Friday, April 5, 1889

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John Riley Manning

Officer Manning was shot and killed at a suspect's home while attempting to serve a warrant. The suspect had threatened to kill another man earlier in the day and was armed with a Winchester rifle.

Officer Manning and two other officers went to the man's shack and called out to him to come out. The man stated he was looking for a match to light a lantern. After a few moments the man opened the door and asked Officer Manning for a match. Officer Manning gave the man a match and the man closed the door and lit the light. A few moments later he opened the door again and as Officer Manning stepped inside the man shot him in the chest with the Winchester rifle, killing him instantly.

The other officers returned fire but the suspect was able to escape the scene. The man was arrested and charged with Officer Manning's murder. He was sentenced to death and executed by hanging on May 9, 1890.

Officer Manning had served with the agency for 18 months. He was survived by his mother, parents, brothers, and sisters.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Winchester
  • Offender Executed in 1890

Most Recent Reflection

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On this day, May 9th, 2013 John Riley Manning will once again be honored in memory by the Bessemer Police Department during our annual Flag Retirement Ceremony. While honoring the great flag of our loved country we will honor Officer Manning and pay tribute to his sacrifice over 124 years ago. A story will be told of how our Officer's honor him in the tradition of growing out they're beards and mustache as a sign of respect for Manning's courage and ultimate sacrifice. Rest in peace, remembered.

Sergeant Hank Edwards
Bessemer Police Department

May 9, 2013

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