Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 22 years, 9 months, 19 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 5th District - Wabash
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Aggravated Battery - Beating
Age at Time of Death: 49
Date of Birth: 01 Apr 1898
Date of Appointment: 07 Jul 1924
Date of Incident: 26 Apr 1947
End of Watch: 26 Apr 1947
Date of Interment: 03 May 1947
Cemetery: Lincoln Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 11
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 45
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 63-E: 17
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman George Thomas Freeman, Sr. Star #2370, aged 49 years, was a 22 year, 9 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District – Wabash.
On April 26, 1947, at 11:15 p.m., Officer Freeman was walking his beat when he met with Edward Lee Weaver at 556 East 47th Street. The two men continued to conversing as they walked east on 47th Street. Suddenly, at 620 East 47th Street, Weaver turned on Officer Freeman. Weaver struck Officer Freeman, knocking him to the ground, and began kicking him in the head and the body as he lay on the sidewalk. A citizen, Johnny Gardnier, was standing in the doorway to Cooper’s Tavern located at 624 East 47th Street when he saw Weaver strike Officer Freeman. Gardnier rushed to Officer Freeman’s side and exchanged blows with Weaver. Weaver attempted to flee the scene, but was unable to break free from the grip of Gardnier who held weaver until police arrived. Officer Freeman was transported to Provident Hospital where he lost consciousness shortly after arriving and died moments later.
Seven other witnesses eventually stepped forward and corroborated Gardnier’s account of events. Edward Lee Weaver was arrested and in May 1947 indicted for murder. He was tried and on December 5, 1947 was found not guilty and acquitted.
Officer Freeman was laid to rest on May 3, 1947 in Lincoln Cemetery, 12300 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman George Thomas Freeman, Sr., born February 7, 1904, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 7, 1924.
Officer Freeman was survived by his wife, Erle (nee Granberry), age 47 and children: Earle Lavon, age 23, Eldridge Edmond, age 24 and George Thomas, Jr., age 20.
Note: The photo of Officer Freeman is of him wearing his previously assigned star number #200. At the time of the incident his assigned star number was #2370.