The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our Fallen Officers on the anniversary of their End of Watch.
Patrolman Griffin was appointed to the police force on August 10, 1934. At the time of his death, he was on assignment to the First Precinct police cruiser. Many times Griffin was detailed to drive for Mayor Harold H. Burton and Safety Director, Eliot Ness.
In the early morning hours of May 30, 1938, the Todds and the Colleys of Hawthorne Avenue reported a robbery and shooting outside their houses. Mrs. Todd told police she heard demands for money, a scuffle and then gun shots.
Police arriving at the scene found Patrolman Griffin lying on his side outside his automobile, shot five times. Griffin has recently left a local restaurant after spending time with friends. His billfold and personal gun were stolen. Griffin was pronounced dead upon arrival at Charity Hospital. Officer Griffin was survived by his wife Helen, his parents, one brother and one sister. Services were conducted at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and he was interred at Calvary Cemetery.
Several years after Griffin’s death, Wendell Black was arrested and charged with Griffin’s murder. Ultimately, Black pled guilty to several robberies near the area of the shooting and was sent to the Ohio Penitentiary.