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Officer Burnett's commendation for courageous action in 1975

Published February 19. 2011 09:00AM

A commendation for bravery, signed by then-Philadelphia Police Commissioner Joseph O'Neill, was presented to Charles "Chip" Burnett a few months after he pulled badly-wounded officer Jack Bowen from a bar that was being robbed.

"In recognition of your devotion to duty, you are hereby officially commended. On March 24, 1975, at 10 p.m., you were an integral part of a 12-man team that responded to a radio message "bar, 15th and Melon streets, investigate three males acting suspiciously."

Upon arrival, you engaged in a shoot-out with one of the defendants, who was armed with a shotgun. Officer Bowen was seriously wounded during the encounter. The defendant, James Williams, was slain.

A second defendant, Theodore Lumsden, armed with a pistol while firing in your direction, fled on foot. After a running gunbattle in which he was seriously wounded, he was finally apprehended.

The third defendant, Lloyd Thomas, was apprehended in the basement of the taproom. They were all charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and other related offenses.

"Your courageous action under extremely dangerous conditions is in keeping with the high tradition maintained by the Philadelphia Police Department. A copy of this commendation will be placed in your personnel file."

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