Lieutenant Arthur Briggs suffered a fatal heart attack while struggling with a drunk man in an alley behind a local business.
The drunk man had been creating a disturbance inside of the business and Lieutenant Briggs had been called to remove him. When Lieutenant Briggs entered the business the man fled out a back door. Lieutenant Briggs chased after him but suffered a heart attack after catching and struggling with him.
On the afternoon of April 28, 1908, Duluth Police Lt. Arthur J. Briggs, a 21-year police veteran, was dispatched to Sam Ling's laundry at 418 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth. A drunken man had passed out and was in a shed around back.
The man awakened and became belligerent when Briggs approached. A struggle ensued, and when a passer-by saw the fracas, he came to the aid of the officer. The passer-by gained control of the man, noticing then that Briggs was on the ground and not moving.
News of the incident spread quickly and within minutes, more than 1,000 angry people gathered, demanding justice.
A doctor calmed the mob, offering assurances that the officer had not been shot. An autopsy revealed Briggs' heart ruptured during the struggle.
His funeral was the largest that had ever been held in Duluth to that date. More than 5,000 people overflowed Holy Apostles Episcopal Church at 57th Avenue West and Elinor Street.