Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 15 years, 7 months, 20 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 10th District - Marquette
District of Incident (Present Day): 010 - Ogden
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 44
Date of Birth: 26 Jul 1923
Date of Appointment: 23 Apr 1952
Date of Incident: 13 Dec 1967
End of Watch: 13 Dec 1967
Date of Interment: 18 Dec 1967
Cemetery: Restvale Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 17
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 16
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 35-E: 1
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Charles William Pollard, Star #5540, aged 44 years, was a 15 year, 7 month, 20 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 10th District – Marquette.
On December 14, 1967, at 6:00 a.m., Officer Pollard was found by a neighbor, Mr. Clyde Roscoe, lying face down and unresponsive in the alley behind his apartment building located at 4038 West 21st Street. Mr. Roscoe them informed Officer Pollards father that a man was lying in the alley behind his apartment. They both went to the alley where Mr. Pollard discovered the man was his son. Officer Pollard’s son, whom was also present, called the police. Beat 1015, Patrolmen Robert E. Flynn and Thomas Cichy, responded. Upon arrival the officers met Ms. Pollard who stated that “Something is wrong with my poor Charles.“ The officers asked where he was located and Ms. Pollard replied, “In the alley behind the car.“ The offers went to the alley and found Officer Pollard lying face down and not moving. Officer Cichy felt his stomach and checked for a pulse. Officer Flynn discovered that the man had an empty holster and asked Ms. Pollard if he was a policeman, She replied yes. The officer then notified the dispatcher on Zone 6. Officer Pollard’s wallet was located nearby, empty of its contents. His .38 caliber service revolver and police identification were missing.
On December 13, 1967, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Officer Pollard had just returned home and was locking his car when he was approached by Eugene Armstrong, age 21, of 4214 West Ogden Avenue and Clifton Hill, age 23, of 4157 West Fillmore Street. Hill held Pollard at gunpoint while Pollard’s badge, gun, and wallet containing $34 were taken. Hill ordered Pollard to walk further into the alley and after walking about ten feet Pollard spun around and said “That’s enough. I am a policeman. You’re under arrest.“ Hill then fired at Pollard striking him in the chest and the two bandits fled the scene.
On December 16, 1967, Eugene Armstrong was arrested in connection with the robbery and murder of Officer Pollard. During interrogation, Armstrong identified Clifton Hill as the actual killer. A manhunt for Hill was conducted and on December 18, 1967, at 5:00 a.m., Hill surrendered after arranging to meet detectives at the Greyhound depot located at Clark and Randolph Streets. On January 15, 1968, Armstrong was found guilty of murder during a jury trial. The jury recommended the death penalty. Armstrong’s conviction would later be reversed after a new trial revealed that the prosecution failed to produce witnesses for a statement made by Armstrong at the time of his arrest. Armstrong’s statement implicating himself and Hill should have been suppressed according to the Illinois Supreme Court. On January 17, 1968, Hill was also found guilty of murder and robbery during a jury trial by a different jury. That jury did not recommend the death penalty. On January 30, 1968, Armstrong was sentenced to death in the electric chair on April 1, 1968 by Judge L. Sheldon Brown. On February 2, 1968, Hill was sentenced to 50 to 100 years in prison for murder and 10 to 20 years for robbery. In January of 2013 Hill became eligible for parole. A parole hearing was held in Springfield, Illinois and Hill’s parole request was denied.
Officer Pollard was waked at House of Branch. He was laid to rest on December 18, 1967 in Restvale Cemetery, 11700 South Laramie Street, Alsip, Illinois.
Patrolman Charles William Pollard, born July 26, 1923, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 23, 1952. He earned 1 Honorable Mention during his career. On April 23, 1952, Officer Pollard was issued a 1905 Series “Pieplate,“ Star #1672. On December 15, 1966, he returned that star and was issued a brand new 1955 series star, Star #5540. Star #5540 was the same star number issued to him at the time of his death.
Officer Pollard was survived by his wife, Ruth (nee Mixon), aged 39; son, Charles A, age 16; step-daughter: Careen, age 1; mother, Jennie U. (nee McNarry) and siblings: Bernice, Gladys and Louise. He was preceded in death by his father, Andrew.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #F431828.