PLATT, JOHN D

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Sergeant John Platt

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On this day in Baltimore Police History 2000, we lost our brothers, Sergeant Platt and Officer Kevin McCarthy who were killed when their patrol car as it was broadsided in that Hamilton intersection by a drunk driver. The two officers were on routine patrol in a residential area when the driver of a full-size pickup truck failed to obey a stop sign causing the collision.

The impact caused the officer’s patrol car to flip over and strike a utility pole. Both officers were killed instantly. Neither occupant of the pickup truck was injured. The driver of the vehicle was charged with DUI with other charges pending. The driver was found guilty of two counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two ten year sentences with all but six years suspended.

In 2003 after serving just 3 years and 2 months of his sentence, the driver of that vehicle was able to go home to his wife and kids, Sgt Platt and Officer McCarthy’s kids are still waiting to meet their dad’s, for them it will be a lifetime.

Sergeant Platt had been employed with the Baltimore City Police Department for 17 years and is survived by his wife, 3-year-old daughter, and 4-year-old son.

Officer McCarthy had been employed with the Baltimore City Police Department for 15 years and is survived by his 9-year-old daughter.

The Sun paper had a lot to say about the funeral of these two fine officers, as they reported the following:

The deaths of two police officers remind us not only of their vulnerability but our own. And when Mayor O'Malley offered his tender words of comfort, it took some of us back seven years, to another funeral, another slain policeman, and the randomness of life and death. This Officer’s name was Herman Jones. He was a 23-year veteran in a job in which every day is a roll of the dice. But the irony of his death, like Platt's and McCarthy's, was that it could have happened to anybody. Jones had gone to an East Baltimore carryout for an evening snack, where a teen-age kid who should have been home studying arithmetic pulled out a gun and shot him. And on a summer morning at the Little Ark Missionary Baptist Church, they laid Herman Jones' body in an open casket for everyone to see, Herman Jones' wife Linda and his children were nearby, as a choir sang so hauntingly that it tore everybody in the place up with tears.

Take my hand,

Precious Lord,

Lead me home.

And the Mayor of Baltimore was there that day. They saved a front- row seat for Kurt L. Schmoke directly in front of Herman Jones' casket, and the Mayor looked at poor Jones, and he heard the choir chanting its refrain, and you knew that something special was coming from Schmoke. The Mayor was so much like Jones. They were kids who'd grown up in post-war America, each a product of the great civil rights movement, each a graduate of Baltimore City College, each a football player for the legendary coach, George Young. This one would come from Schmoke's heart.

But nothing came
By the time the mayor reached the pulpit, he'd had time to think about the killing in his city, and he'd had time to absorb the emotional singing, and all of the church's mourners with their grief coming out of their pores, and there was nothing he could summon.

He muttered a few platitudes about the awfulness of killing and the need for some national sense of urgency, and in a few moments, he was done. Whatever passion he felt, he kept it to himself, and there were people who walked out of the Little Ark Missionary Baptist Church that morning feeling they had been cheated, the truth is Officer Joes was cheated, Platt's and McCarthy were the ones cheated, they gave their lives and the rules never change.

Last week, the new Mayor of Baltimore spoke quite beautifully. He calls the funerals of police officers the toughest part of his job. But the job is still new for Martin O'Malley. It has been his for less than a year. By the time of Herman Jones' funeral, Kurt L. Schmoke was five years into the job, and maybe 1,500 killings into it, and some of those killed were police officers of his city.

As their brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department, we will not let them be forgotten. Their service Honored the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Police Department may they rest in peace, and may God always bless them.


More details

Name Description
End of Watch 14 October, 2000
City, St. A Hamilton Intersection.
Panel Number 60-W: 22
Cause of Death Auto Accident
District Worked Northeastern

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