|Memorial Panel #:||#PANEL#|
|District / Unit:||Wabash Avenue Station|
|End of Watch:||16 December 1944|
|Incident Details:||Police Officer Ezra Caldwell, 32, was a 4-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Wabash Avenue Station.
On December 16, 1944, Officer Ezra Caldwell and his partner, Officer Samuel Black, responded to what they believed was a routine domestic disturbance at a residence located on the 5000 block of Prairie Avenue. Unbeknownst to the officers, they arrived moments after Kermit Breedlove murdered his wife, Goldine. Officer Caldwell stood on the sidewalk near the vehicle as Officer Black knocked on the front door. Upon seeing the officer, Breedlove inquired as to whether the police were looking for him at which time Officer Black confirmed they were. Breedlove immediately drew his gun and fatally wounded him. Breedlove then ran towards Officer Caldwell and began shooting at him. The officer returned gunfire at Breedlove, striking him three times. As the officer attempted to seek cover behind a vehicle, he tripped and fell; Breedlove shot the officer before he could arise. Both, Officer Caldwell and Breedlove were placed in a squad car which collided with a bus and overturned on its way to the hospital. Breedlove made a full recovery. Officer Caldwell and Officer Black succumbed to their injuries.
Kermit Breedlove, 35, was found guilty of three counts of murder. Breedlove was sentenced to be executed in the electric chair. He died on October 19, 1944, in County Jail.
Officer Ezra Caldwell was laid to rest in Elmwoood Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, Catherine.