P.O. Joseph P. Hastings

Name: Joseph P. Hastings
Rank: Police Officer
Star #: 6384
Unit: 35th District
EOW: August 14, 1933

Incident Details:
Officer Hastings heard a shot fired and went to investigate while patrolling Navy Pier on August 14, 1933. He came upon five gunmen in progress of a robbery. The business being robbed was the office of the Bureau of Streets. During that time, the Illinois Emergency Relief Commission was using the office to issue welfare payments to citizens stricken by the Great Depression. One of the offenders shot at Jerome Hartnett, one of the Bureau Clerks, when he attempted to call for help and the offender missed his head by an inch. This was the shot that caused Hastings to appear on the scene. While aiming his weapon at one of the bandits, another gunman fatally fired at Officer Hastings. He fell wounded and managed to fire back twice. The fire on Officer Hastings passed through his heart and exited his back. He was waked at the home of his brother-in-law, John J. O’Hara and buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery. On August 23, 1933, Morris Cohen was sentenced to death for his part in the slaying of Officer Hastings.  Cohen was executed in the electric chair on October 13, 1933 at Cook County Jail.