The Cambridge-Dorchester Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police recently presented city Police Chief Justin Todd with a book that recounts the history and 1953 death of Cambridge Officer Daniel C. Bier.
Lodge No. 27 President Thomas Hurley presented the book at the City Council’s April 24 meeting. Bier was killed 70 years ago this week, on Sunday, May 3, 1953.
Bier was attempting to arrest a suspect in a domestic assault case in the 500 block of Goldsboro Avenue in Cambridge. He, along with Officer Randolph Jews, had responded to the Cambridge Hospital and took the complaint from the suspect’s wife, who was cut on the arm, and then responded to their house to arrest the suspect.
The suspect’s wife warned the officers that her husband had a knife and gun, and had told her that he would “shoot it out” with the police.
Upon arrival, Bier went into the house without Officer Jews because – in those days - Black officers were not allowed to enter the homes of whites, or even arrest whites.
According to witnesses, Officer Jews joked with Officer Bier: “So long - I’ll come to your funeral.” Officer Bier joked back: “Send me a wreath.”
Shortly after entering the home, a shot was heard and Bier yelled, “My God! You’ve shot me!”
Officer Jews ran into the house to find Bier dead from a shot through his heart from a .45-caliber handgun. The suspect had run out the back door from the house, but was later captured by the Maryland State Police in the area of Christ Rock, outside of Cambridge city limits.
The white suspect, Russell Regina, was originally found guilty of first-degree murder in a trial that was held in Worcester County. During a 1954 re-trial, however, Regina pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
A cancer diagnoses allowed Regina to be released five years later; he died two years after his release.
Hurley told the City Council and Todd that, many years ago, he found the book in FOP storage and that he had made a copy for the police department. The book contained a summary of the events and shooting, as well as many copies of court documents.
It is unknown where those copies came from, as a search by the FOP failed to locate documents or transcripts that have survived in the court system or the Hall of Records.
Hurley told council members and those present at the meeting that history is important, fallen officers must always be remembered and their possession of the book will do that.