Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 7 years, 10 months, 7 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 3rd District - Grand Crossing
District of Incident (Present Day): 003 - Grand Crossing
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 28
Date of Birth: 23 Dec 1929
Date of Appointment: 16 Jun 1959
Date of Incident: 003 - Grand Crossing
End of Watch: 24 May 1967
Date of Interment: 27 May 1967
Cemetery: Lincoln Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 23
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 14
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 44-E: 13
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Navy
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Herman Stallworth, Star #10965, aged 37 years, was an 7 year, 10 month, 7 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 3rd District – Grand Crossing.
On May 23, 1967, at 11:40 p.m., Officer Stallworth, and his partner, Patrolman Eugene Ervin, were working the third watch on beat 314. The officers stopped a vehicle at Cottage Grove Avenue and Marquette Road for a traffic violation. When the officers approached the vehicle, the two men, Joseph R. Hurst, age 24 and Charles Harper, age 25, claimed to have no identification with them. Officer Ervin walked back to the squad car to run a check on the vehicle’s license plates and call for assistance when gun fire rang out. As Officer Stallworth stood next to the driver’s side window, Hurst opened fire and shot the officer multiple times in the chest and abdomen. He then jumped out of the vehicle and began shooting at Officer Ervin, striking him in the face. Despite being severely injured Officer Ervin was able to call for assistance and twenty units soon responded to his call for help.
Hurst then fled the scene on foot and was spotted by two of the responding officers who gave chase. Charles Harper, the passenger of the car, took refuge in the crowd of onlookers that had begun to form following the shooting. Hurst began firing at the officers as he ran to a nearby building located at 6434 South Maryland Avenue and barricaded himself in the bathroom of a third floor apartment. Hurst continued to exchange gunfire with pursuing officers through the bathroom door as he was surrounded by additional officers. He soon found himself out of ammunition. Hurst then took his .38 caliber pistol, threw it into the hallway and surrendered without further incident. He was placed into custody and transported to Woodlawn Hospital where he was treated for cuts to his head and face. Approximately an hour after Hurst’s arrest, Harper stepped from the crowd and approached Patrolman Edward G. Carey and turned himself in. Officer Stallworth was transported to Billings Hospital by beat 315 where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Witzelbaum at 1:45 a.m. on May 24, 1967. Officer Erwin was also transported to the hospital, was treated and made a full recovery.
On February 15, 1968, Joseph R. Hurst was found guilty of 1st degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery. Hurst was sentenced to the death penalty. However, in 1974, during a moratorium on death penalty, Hurst was re-sentenced to 100-300 years in prison. In 2014, Joseph R. Hurst, age 71, was granted a parole hearing. On February 27, 2014 at 8:00 a.m., Hurst was denied parole by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board in a 5-7 vote. Voting in favor of the motion were Members Diaz, Gregg, Johnson, Norton and Chairman Monreal. Members Crigler, Findley, Harris, Parrack, Shelton, Simmons and Tyler dissented. In 2021, Joseph R. Hurst, age 77, was granted a parole hearing. On February 25, 2021, Hurst was granted parole and released. The Illinois Prisoner Review Board voted 8-4 to parole Hurst.
Officer Stallworth was waked at Miller, Major and Ockleberry Funeral Home located at 1010 East 79th Street. He was laid to rest on May 27, 1967 in Lincoln Cemetery, 12300 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Officer Herman Stallworth, born December 23, 1929, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 16, 1959. He earned 1 Award of Valor (Posthumously), 1 Blue Star Award (Posthumously), 3 Department Commendations and 2 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Officer Stallworth served in the U.S. Navy and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his wife, Geraldine C. (nee Bennett), age 40; four children ages 4 to 13 years old and parents: Andrew and Doshea (nee Thomas).
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #F161657.