The following factual information is being presented to you in order to ask for your support in denying parole for Eddie Hampton.
On September 28, 1970, Patrolmen Joseph Tracz (27) and Fred Fulton (29) stopped a vehicle for a license plate violation. That vehicle was occupied by two men, Leonard Miller and Eddie Hampton. This event ended in the horrifying death of Patrolman Tracz and leaving Patrolman Fulton critically wounded.
During this traffic stop, Patrolman Fulton was speaking with the driver, Leonard Miller. Miller was escorted back to the patrol car by Fulton. When Fulton attempted to do a pat down, Miller reached in his waist, pulled a pistol, and shot Fulton in the groin and chest. Hampton had shot Patrolman Tracz six or seven times as he laid face down in the street. Patrolman Fulton was crawling back to his cruiser when he witnessed Hampton fatally shooting Tracz in the back. Hampton then fired another round at Fulton which ricocheted off of the pavement striking Fulton in the mouth.
In May of 1972, Miller had been at large after killing Patrolman Tracz and critically wounding Patrolman Fulton. He was finally arrested at a bank he was robbing near the scene of the shooting. Hampton was later found being harbored in his sister's home. One year later, both suspects were convicted of first degree murder and several other felony charges. They were sentenced to LIFE in prison. Miller completed his sentence and died in prison. Hampton, was denied parole on November 9, 2009. His next parole hearing is scheduled in August of 2019.
Patrolman Tracz had served with the Cleveland Police Department for less than 1 year. He was a Vietnam Veteran and made the commitment upon his return to continue to serve his country through a career in law enforcement. At the time of his death, Patrolman Tracz and his wife were also expecting their first child. Today, Tracz is survived by his wife and the son he was never able to meet.
The impact of Hampton and Miller's actions did not end in 1972. The trajectory of both families was drastically altered and still affects both families today in 2019. Both families have suffered loss in more ways than can be counted.
It is the expectation of both families that Hampton complete his LIFE sentence in prison for taking the life of Patrolman Tracz, leaving his widow to raise a son by herself, critically wounding Patrolman Fulton, and changing the direction of his career. We need your support to keep this killer in prison and complete his life sentence for the crimes he committed to these two men and their families.