Officer Murphy was killed when he was beaten with a blunt object while attempting to arrest three brothers in Lexington Market. The brothers were acting in a disorderly manner and Officer Murphy warned them to calm down. When he did so they became abusive towards the officer, who then attempted to arrest one of the three.
The other two brothers then attacked Officer Murphy and beat him clubs. Other officers came to the scene and arrested the three men. Officer Murphy at first did not appear injured but began going into convulsions once he returned to the station house.
All three brothers were arrested and charged with his murder. Two received sentences of 18 years and the third was sentenced to 15 years in the Maryland State Penitentiary.
Officer Murphy had served with the Baltimore City Police Department for 3 years.p