END OF WATCH: June 19, 1912
Cleveland Police Department
Patrolman Edward Parker, appointed February 4, 1911, was shot and killed on Wednesday morning, June 19, 1912 by rioting strikers at the East 26th Street crossing of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Parker attempted to disperse a crowd of angry Italian workers who were striking for better wages. Parker approached a man believed to be the ringleader and as the man grabbed Parker, Parker hit him over the head with his club, breaking it. Parker reached for his revolver in his right hip pocket and a man shot him over the heart. Rising on one knee, Parker fired three shots at his fleeing murderer. Witnesses said the man who killed Patrolman Parker shot through his coat pocket before Parker could draw his gun. Parker’s last words were “My God” as he dropped under a railroad crossing gate.
Attracted by the strikers’ shouts, F. R. Bellet, a messenger employed at the United States Express Company’s depot ran to see what had happened. As he reached the scene, Parker was emptying his revolver at the Italian suspect. The Italian man darted into an alley 50 feet from where Parker lay dying and one of the shots fired at Parker struck Bellet in his hip.
Harry J. Bahmer, a Pennsylvania Railroad detective and C. H. Brandt, a person crossing in his automobile, picked up the two men and carried them to Brandt’s car. Parker’s revolver and broken club were found by his side. Three cartridges were discharged and a fourth was empty.
Brandt rushed the two men to the hospital where Parker died a few minutes later.
A small boy witnessing the shooting may have been responsible for the arrest of Parker’s murderer. Four men, among them thought to be the man who did the shooting, were followed by the boy when they fled through an alley after the riot. They eluded officers by catching a street car at East 17th Street. The boy stuck with them and got on the street car, notifying the conductor and motorman that the men were on board. When the car reached Public Square, the motorman summoned an officer who arrested the quartet.
According to the Cleveland News newspaper, the thirty-one men who had been charged with rioting were to be arraigned in Municipal Court. The News also stated that an attempt was to be made to have all of the men sentenced for the offense pending further investigation.
According to the Cleveland Press, 26 year old Salvatore Rinando, alias Sam Rinando, of 1907 Orange Avenue, was arrested and charged with Patrolman Parker’s murder. Rinando was later released on bail and warrant was later issued after he failed to appear for the trial, he was never located.
On Saturday, June 22, 1912, at 2 pm, Mass was held at Edward Parker’s late residence located on Franklin Avenue and he was laid to rest at the Lakeview Cemetery.
Patrolman Parker was survived by a wife and his daughter Geraldine.
Parker was the third of three Cleveland policemen murdered in 18 months. As of June 20, 1912, none of the murderers were captured.
Edward Parker’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 44, West Wall, line 2.
By Recruit William Walker, Cleveland Police Academy