This badge was worn by Police Officer Timothy Flavin during the Haymarket Riot on May 4th, 1886. Officer Flavin was the fourth policeman to die as a result of the conflict; he received fatal shrapnel wounds on May 4th and died several days later. leaving a widow and three children. His grandson, John Flavin, donated the badge to the Chicago Historical Society in 1968.
This badge belonged to Officer Timothy Flavin and represents the role of the Chicago Police force in the escalating violence of labor conflicts. A centralized, professional city police force was established in 1855 and was uniformed in 1858, mainly to regulate vice areas and subdue drinkers or rowdy citizens, often through violent means. In the 1870s and 1880s, the police force became actively involved in the break up strikes and labor demonstrations as well. On May 4, 1886, 180 police officers marched into a labor demonstration in Haymarket Square. When a bomb was thrown, officers fired into the crowd. Ultimately eight police officers died and many more were injured. An unknown number of strikers suffered the same fate. Timothy Flavin was one of policemen killed.