One of the last living members of St. Petersburg’s ‘Courageous 12’ has died

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ST. PETERSBURG — One of the last two living members of the city’s “Courageous 12,” a group of black police officers who fought for racial equality in law enforcement by suing the city, died Friday. He was 81.

The news of Freddie Crawford’s passing came Saturday afternoon, in a Twitter post by the Police Department. “He will be remembered for leading the way for African Americans & minorities to serve the community in every rank of law enforcement,” it said.

Department spokeswoman Sandra Bentil said she had no information about Crawford’s death, other than that he was surrounded by family at the time. Police Chief Anthony Holloway declined to comment Saturday.

The “Courageous 12” is known for filing a federal lawsuit against the city of St. Petersburg in 1965 to fight for black officers’ right to arrest both black and white people. At the time, black officers were only permitted to patrol black neighborhoods and could not book white people into jail. They also could not hold some jobs in the department.

Three years later, the group won its case against the city and became known for helping even the playing field for African Americans working in law enforcement.

Contact Megan Reeves at [email protected] Follow @mareevs.

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