Served: 1½ years
Sept. 22, 1928 to March 20, 1930
On March 19, 1930, exactly two years after fellow Middletown Patrolman McChesney was shot, Patrolman Sandlin, of 900 Auburn Avenue, saw a vehicle that he suspected belonged to bootleggers. He called for rookie Patrolman Roy Crout to meet him and stake out the automobile. Before long, a Middletown resident, Richard Brewer (38) and New Castle, Indiana resident, Wilson Griffin (49) came out of the house and drove away in the car.
The officers stopped the car on South Avenue east of Crawford Street. As they approached the vehicle, Brewer jumped out as if to run and Patrolman Sandlin caught him. Brewer pulled a handgun and shot Patrolman Sandlin in the abdomen.
Griffin then jumped out and ran and Patrolman Crout shot at him, striking him four times.
Brewer escaped. The vehicle was loaded with illegal whiskey.
Patrolman Sandlin and Griffin were rushed to Middletown Hospital. Patrolman Sandlin died three hours later, the next morning, March 20, 1930, from a bullet wound to the lung. We know of only 7 line of deaths of Middletown Police Officers and 5 died during Prohibition.
Patrolman Sandlin was survived by his wife, Mabel, and three sons. He was buried March 22, 1930, in Woodside Cemetery.
On March 21, 1930, Butler County Deputy Sheriff Davidson, and Middletown Detectives Frazier, Bauer, and Davis, and Big Four Railroad Police Sergeant Floyd Pierce captured Brewer at Kyle’s Station in Butler County.
Griffin died on March 26, 1930, of peritonitis due to a bullet wound of the bowel.
Brewer had been recently paroled from a Kentucky prison after killing a Clayton, Kentucky man. During May 1930, at his first trial for the First Degree Murder of Patrolman Sandlin, the jurors were unable to agree on a verdict. In November 1930, another panel, after deliberating for 15 hours, found him guilty of Manslaughter. He was sentenced to 15 to 20 years in prison.
If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Director@police-museum.org.
This narrative was revised on March 13, 2011 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer, Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.