Det Sgt Joseph F. Carroll

EVER EVER EVER Motto DivderDetective Sergeant Joseph F. Carroll 

On this day in Baltimore Police History 1928, we lost our brother Detective Sergeant Joseph F. Carroll to gunfire based on the following: On 19 Nov 1928 Captain John Carey,, night commander of police detective unit, received word that a man answering the description of a man wanted in New York for armed robberies and the shooting of a New York City Police Officer was in a Baltimore Street Hotel. Three detectives were detailed to go to the location and bring the suspect in; Captain Carey told them to bring the suspect to police headquarters for questioning. The detectives did a turn-up at the location, and found the person that was being reported, but after brief conversations felt he could not be the suspect wanted, by the NYPD. Captain Carey said he told the three officers that were sent earlier about the dangers of this suspect and let them know he was to be considered as a dangerous and desperate character. While the Detectives didn’t think the subject, they received a tip on was their suspect they still brought him in for questioning where they cleared him and released him a short time after his interview.   

Later the same morning Detective Sergeant Joseph F. Carroll received a phoned in tip of a suspect at a downtown hotel, he didn’t have any info on the suspect, what he was wanted for, or even that three Detectives had already gone out on this call. All he had was that police where there earlier looking for a suspect, and that the suspect was there now. Det. Sgt. Carroll left; he was unaware that it was guys out of his own unit/division that went out on the first call. We don’t know who phoned in the tip(s), it may have been the person police brought in, and then released, or a hotel employee; we’ll never know. Likewise, we’ll never know why, Detective Sergeant Carroll didn’t investigate it any further, or didn’t take a back-up Detective or Patrolman with him. He just took the name the caller gave him, grabbed a set of keys, and went alone. This might seem odd, but having been on the job, I know there are plenty of times when a detective may end up going out on his or her own. Following leads often must be done when it comes in and can even send partners in opposite directions. Detective Sergeant Carroll now at the hotel located the suspect and arrested him. The two proceeded from the hotel to as far as Fayette Street and the Fallsway when the suspect realizing his window was closing, time was running out and he pulled his pistol, and demanded that Detective Sergeant Carroll put his hands up. Detective Sergeant Elmer O’Grady and others, that happened to have been looking out the window, or were called to the attention of the window from their offices, that is right this was happening right outside police headquarters building, Officers and Detectives were running to assist Det. Sgt Joseph Carroll, only to be met by the gunman’s hail of fire. Det. Sgt. Joseph F. Carroll died a few minutes after being taken to the hospital. O’Grady and others were reported as doing well.

Several things that should be known about the Baltimore Police 1928,

1st - We didn’t cuff people in public,

2nd - We didn’t search people in public, nor did we stand by and watch as other searched people in public.

To that the Police Commissioner Charles Gaither read the following from the rule book to the media:

Members of the force shall not search, or act as witness to the searching of any person in any place other than the station house, or headquarters, unless such search be made for dangerous or deadly weapons suspected to be upon the person of the prisoner.”

In this case Det. Sgt. Joseph F. Carroll had no info on the suspect and was within the rules of the Baltimore Police Department. It is because of cases like this, that we have the rules we have today, cases like this, that allows us to cuff people that are only suspected of a crime. And cases like this that let us search incident to arrest. This happened in 1928, things were so different, without radios on every shoulder, or hip like today, information wasn’t as freely distributed as it is today.

As his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department we will not let him be forgotten, His service Honored the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Police Department may he rest in peace, and may God bless him.

The suspect in this case also died of his injuries, but not before admitting to police that he was the suspect wanted in New York for robberies and Shootings, of two police officers in the NYPD

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Baltimore Sun 21 Nov 1928 Carroll Joe 72Click HERE or on the Above Newspaper Pic to see full size article


As his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department we will not let him be forgotten, His service Honored the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Police Department may he Rest in Peace, and may God bless him.

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More details

End of Watch 19 November, 1928
City, St. Fayette Street, and Fallsway
Panel Number 30-E: 7
Cause of Death     Gunfire
Weapon - Handgun
District Worked     Criminal Investigation Division



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