Patrolman Brian Charles Melton

Patrolman Brian Charles Melton

Des Moines Police Department, Iowa

End of Watch Thursday, April 21, 1977

Brian Charles Melton

Patrolman Brian Melton was shot and killed after he and another officer arrested two men for public intoxication.

While walking one of the men to the patrol wagon a scuffle ensued and an officer's handgun came free from its holster. The suspect picked up the gun and shot Patrolman Melton in the chest. The suspect was charged with first degree murder but was acquitted as the defense portrayed him as being the victim of police brutality.

Patrolman Melton had served with the Des Moines Police Department for four years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 318

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

View all 16 Reflections

Brian was an outstanding Police Officer. I worked with him first as an auxiliary Police Officer and then partnered with him two days a week once I became DMPD.

In March of 1977 Brian helped me move out of my house so that I could attend my Military Police Basic Course at Ft. McClellan, AL. I returned from that course to attend Brian's funeral. I celebrate Brian's EOW each year on 21 April.

My son who is a Federal Agent was named for Brian Melton and Dennis Hill (DMPD EOW 28 Aug 77).

I have been working in Washington, DC for past five years and have visited the National Law Enforcement Memorial multiple times to visit with Brian and Dennis. I also volunteer at the Memorial during Police week.

Hopefully Karin and their children have excelled in life following this senseless tragedy.

Brian Melton rest in peace - you are not forgotten. Your friend and partner, Jim Hamilton.

LTC (R) James D. Hamilton
Former SPO Des Moines Police Dept (#588)

March 26, 2016

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