P/O James Murphy

Fallen HeroOfficer James Murphy 

On this day in Baltimore City Police History 1870, we lost our brother, Police Officer James Murphy, to an assault based on the following:

At about 3 o’clock in the afternoon of July 4, the attention of Policeman James Murphy, while passing through Lexington Market, was attracted to three young brothers named James, John, and David Duering, who were acting in a riotous manner. The officer demonstrated with them and told them if they did not behave themselves, he would take them to the station house. James Duering commenced verbally abusing the policeman, and the latter took him into custody. The brothers told James not to go to the station house. James resisted when the two brothers came up, and one of them struck the officer upon his head with his fist as hard as he could. Officer Murphy pulled out his Billy, but in the scuffle that ensued, he lost it. James succeeded in getting away, and all three ran up Paca Street. The officer followed and again succeeded in taking James into custody when the other brothers came around from behind and struck the officer with Billies.

Policeman Murphy, however, succeeded in holding onto his prisoner, and when Policeman Mantle came up, he chased David and caught him hiding in an outhouse at the rear of Paca Street. Policeman Engle afterwards arrested John at his mother’s house on Orchard Street.

They were all taken to the Western Station House and arraigned for the charge of assaulting the officer.  They were all released upon bail, and the policeman at the time did not appear to be severely injured. Soon after the release of the accused, Officer Murphy was taken with convulsions in the yard of the station house. Help was summoned, but the officer continued to grow worse. A priest was called in to administer the last rite of the Catholic Church. Murphy lingered in convulsions until about half past one o’clock on this morning (5 July, 1870), when he expired, having remained unconscious up to the time of his death. Warrants were issued at once for the re-arrest of the Duering brothers, and all three were arrested.

Murphy was single and 23 years of age. He was appointed to the force on April 4th.

We, his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department, will not let him be forgotten. God bless, and rest in peace. His service "honored" the City of Baltimore and the Police Department. RIP, Officer Murphy.


More Details



End of Watch 5 July, 1870
City, St.      Lexington Market
Panel Number 37-E: 4
Cause of Death      Fight
Weapon Espantoon
District Worked Western


1 black devider 800 8 72


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