RODWELL, CALVIN

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On this day in Baltimore Police History 22 Sept, 1973 we lost our brother Patrolman Calvin Rodwell to gunfire based on the following:

Like many officers, Patrolman Calvin Rodwell longed to instill a positive image of police officers into the children of Baltimore. To that he sought assignments within the department that allowed him to spend time teaching children, and building a foundation of trust in their young minds. Officer Rodwell's dedication to children went far beyond the normal 8 hour workday. In addition to teaching traffic safety schools at "Safety City" in the Southeast District, he also volunteer as an assistant scoutmaster, at his local scout troop, as well he serves with the big brothers of Baltimore. In his official position, he rarely confronted violent suspects; still he was a hero to so many.

To make ends meet living on the income of an officer in the 70's, Officer Rodwell was forced to moonlight as a taxi driver.( That was not unusual: off-duty officers often worked as cabbies, and the department gave its blessing, because this type work for police was widely publicized and helped decrease the rise of violent crimes against Baltimore cab drivers.) Shortly after midnight on Friday, September 21, 1973, Officer Rodwell picked up a fair at the corner of the McCollah and Wilson street. In Baltimore’s Central district - Louis Walker got in the back of Calvin's cab and requested a trip to Orleans and Asquith Streets. Calvin quickly drove his cab from Central’s west side of Baltimore to the east side, when all of a sudden Walker produced a handgun and forced Officer Rodwell to pull to the curb, Calvin complied and Walker ordered him out of the cab. Once out of the cab Walker drove away, unbeknownst to him, he drove off with more than Officer Rodman's cab and money, the officer's handgun was under cushion of the driver's seat. Rodwell pursued the cab on foot but quickly lost sight of his attacker. Several things Calvin could not have known at that time, things like the odds would be stacked against him that night. The gun used by Walker to rob Rodwell was borrowed; Walker borrowed the gun from another cabbie by the name of Ridgely Young, in fact he was heading back to give the gun back when he decided to rob Rodwell.

Officer Rodwell spotted a cab coming toward him and ran toward it for help. Of all the Cab's in Baltimore, this one was being driven by none other than, Ridgely Young, and as Rodwell neared it he had no way of knowing that Louis Walker, had already met up with Young, and returned his pistol; worse Louis Walker was now waiting in the backseat of Young’s cab, and he found Rodwell’s gun between the cushion of his cab. So as Young was flagged down by Rodwell Louis Walker learned he was more than just a cab driver, he was police, fearing he would be arrested for the robbery Louis Walker would quickly exited Young's cab to confront the now unarmed Officer. Witnesses heard Rodwell plea to Walker for his life seconds before 3 shots were fired by Walker; two of those round struck their target killing Officer Rodwell right there in the street. Officers and medics were dispatch to the scene and would transport the wounded officer to Church Home Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after midnight on the morning of Saturday, 22 September, 1973. Officer Calvin Rodwell touched the lives of many, during his 12 years of service with the Baltimore Police Department. Sadly he would leave behind his Wife Dorsey, and their three children Kimberly, Andre, and the Dino. Shortly after the shooting, Walker was arrested and charged with the murder of this devoted, husband, father, family man and role model.


Officer's Killer Jailed

GEORGE J HILTNER

The Sun (1837-1987); Jul 25, 1974;

pg. C18

Officer’s Killer Jailed

A 29 year old admitted dope addict was given prison terms totaling 50 years yesterday for the robbery and murder of an off-duty police officer who taught traffic safety to school children.

Judge Charles D Harris, imposed the sentence directed the defendant to be sent to Patuxent Institution to determine if he was a defective delinquent.

Lewis Walker, of the 2300 block Norfolk Ave. pled guilty in June to second degree murder and armed robbery of Officer Calvin M Rodwell, 34 who was moonlighting as a taxicab driver when he was killed on 22 September.

In June Ridley W Young, 22 of the 2800 block Springhill Ave. a taxicab driver, also plead guilty to being an accessory in the robbery that caused the death of Officer Rodwell, Young received a 10 year term from Judge Albert L Sklar

Charges were not filed

Other charges were not filed against Young in connection with the robbery/slaying in return for his providing evidence in the case against Walker, according to Dominic Lamele and Gerald Richman, the prosecutors in this case.

Walker borrowed a pistol from Young (a Cab Driver) to carry out the robbery of a Cab Driver, he then hailed a cab in the 200 Blk. of Asquith St. the cab was being operate by Officer Rodwell. Walker took the Officers cab, and all of his money.

After the robbery, Walker took the cab to a parking lot near the 100 Blk. of Asquith St. in order to return Young’s Gun to him as this was a predetermined location.  

Officer Rodwell followed on foot and was shot and killed after confronting Walker alongside Young’s cab.

Officer Calvin M. Rodwell was shot twice in the head and chest, some speculate that Walker may have already given the gun back to Young and that young may have killed Officer Rodwell as he was arresting Walker.    

As his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department we will not let him be forgotten. His service Honored the City of Baltimore, and the Police Department. RIP Officer Calvin Rodwell

More details

Name Description
End of Watch 22 September, 1973
City, St. Baltimore, Md
Panel Number 1-W: 2
Cause of Death Gunfire
District Worked Southeastern

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