Killing of Jessie B. Hightower in Alabama in 1945


Case summary

Jessie B. Hightower, 38, a railroad worker, was killed in 1945 by police officer Dewey Columbus Bradley in Union Springs, Bullock County, Alabama. Bradley reportedly came to disarm Hightower, who was quarreling with his wife. When the victim gave the officer the knife, Bradley started to beat Hightower and eventually shot and killed him. In the months prior, Bradley had killed one Black man and injured another. Bradley was dismissed from the police force following the killing of Hightower. Grand jury declined to indict. An essay on this case, researched and authored by a CRRJ student, is available on request.


Alleged perpetrators/other named individuals:
Perpetrator group type: police

Date of incident: 1945-12-01
Location: Union Springs, Bullock County, Alabama
Location type: public space - urban
Allegation against victim: being involved in a domestic dispute; exhibiting public drunkenness; engaging in disorderly conduct; attacking a police officer with a butcher knife

Coroner process
Coroner/inquest: yes
Finding of no legal responsibility: yes

Criminal process
Arrest: no
Charge/indictment/information: [ ]
Grand jury: yes
Trial: [ ]
Conviction: [ ]
Sentence: [ ]

FBI case ID:

Birmingham 44-93

DOJ case ID:



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