DirtyHarry Wiki

Officer Davis

"We're the first generation that's learned to fight. We're simply ridding society of killers that would be caught and sentenced anyway if our courts worked properly. We began with the criminals that the people know so that our actions would be understood. It's not just a question of whether or not to use violence. There simply is no other way, Inspector. You of all people... should understand that."
―John Davis to Harry Callahan

Status: Deceased

Cause of death: Fell to his death in the San Fransisco bay caused by Harry Callahan.

Weapon: .357 Magnum Colt Python

Davis was one of the rookie vigilante police officers and one of the four secondary antagonists of Magnum Force.

Davis and his three fellow rookie buddies and secretly Lt. Briggs, planned to kill all criminals in San Francisco. Davis was the best shot of the group, as described by Officer Sweet as being "dog nuts". He was so good he beat Harry Callahan in the annual shooting competition. However, Davis was dirty and sociopathic, much like the rest of the rookie cops.

Davis was responsible for murdering the Pimp after he killed his prostitute with drain cleaner, and had Sweet report the murder to lower any suspicions.

Later he made his way up to criminal Lou Guzman's pent house and assassinated him and two others while in the middle of an orgy with his silenced .357 Mangum. After this, he killed fellow police man Charlie McCoy because he was at the murder scene. Ironically, Davis attended McCoy's funeral next to Callahan as he felt "responsible" for the officer's death.

After Callahan was assigned to arrest criminal Frank Palancio as it was claimed by Lt. Briggs that he was responsible for the killings. Harry requested for both Davis and Sweet for backup as he knew they were good shooters. Sweet was killed by Palancio in the shoot out by a shotgun blast to the chest as Davis watched in shock. Out of vengeance, Davis managed to bust open the door to the hideout and shot two gunmen dead while Harry survived being thrown off the hood of Palancio's car though Palancio died in a crash.

Harry then figures out the four rookie cops were the ones doing the killings, suspecting them of being a death squad. After making his way home, he is greeted by the three remaining rookies as they sat and waited very menacingly for him on their bikes. Harry tells them they've killed a dozen people that week and asked what they would do next week, to which Davis coldly responds "Kill a dozen more." The three argue that they are ridding society of killers and criminals that should be caught and sentenced if their courts worked properly, believing their actions would be understood and that there was no other way. The three then offer Harry to join their organization but Harry refuses. Davis and his fellow vigilante cops then drive off. It is then revealed they planted a bomb in Harry's mailbox to which he deactivates it. However, Harry's partner Early Smith is killed by a bomb planted in his mailbox by the rookies as Harry tried to phone and warn him.

Later, after Lt. Briggs reveals himself to be the leader of the death squad, Harry kills Officer Grimes and is then chased by Davis and Red. The two chased Harry up into an old navy ship where the deranged policemen began hunting Harry throughout the ship. Officer Astrachan tried to shoot Harry numerous times, however Harry managed to kill him by repeatedly punching him to the ground and karate chopping his throat. After discovering Astrachan's corpse, Davis mounted his motorcycle and began to chase Harry who was on Astrachan's motorcycle. The two jumped their bikes from one ship to another. Although when they ran out of space, Harry managed to successfully stop his bike while Davis accidentally drove his bike off the aircraft carrier and fell to his sudden death in the ocean below. Harry looked at Davis's dead body and said, "Briggs was right, you guys don't have enough experience" before kicking his helmet into the water and walking away. Davis was the fourth of the death squad to die.

Davis was played by David Soul, known for his roles in Starsky and Hutch and Salem's Lot.


  • It has been said that Phil Sweet was the one that murdered the pimp, however evidence points more towards Officer Davis considering the officer can clearly be seen with blonde hair. It is more than likely Davis had Sweet report the murder to lower suspicions.
  • In the scene where Davis carries out the Lou Guzman assassination, he slaps a supressor on his .357 Magnum. This is also what he uses when he kills Charlie McCoy. In reality this is not possible, only a few types of revolvers will work with a supressor such as the Nagant M1895 revolver.
  • The role of Officer Davis is the reason why David Soul was casted as Ken Hutchinson in the show Starsky and Hutch. Ironically, Hutch also used a .357 Magnum Colt Python a lot of times much like Davis.
  • It is unknown why Davis did not survive the ocean fall in the water, it is assumed that he either fell unconscious or simply died on impact due to the cold temperatures of the water.
  • Two deleted scenes help explain why Harry grows to suspect Davis and his pals with the killings of Charlie McCoy and the mobsters. One occurs between the funeral flight for McCoy and the combat championship; after the flight Harry and Davis drive from the airport to a bowling alley for a few drinks; a black youth is suddenly chased outside and assaulted by four toughs; Davis attacks the toughs while Harry dispatches one with his beer mug. After subduing the robbers Davis harangues a group of eyewitnesses for letting such crimes take place; Harry witnesses Davis' harangue and sees in it his own approach to crime fighting, albeit far more severe. Later, after examining the bullet from Davis' gun at the combat championship range, Harry checks on old issues of a police magazine, in which are articles condemning the revolving door justice allowed by liberal politics - articles authored by the four rookie cops. These scenes were deleted presumably because they were judged to be "padding" and not necessary to establishing Harry's suspicion of the four rookie cops.
  • In the first Dirty Harry movie, the Scorpio Killer's real name is Charles Davis and was the main antagonist in that movie. This is ironic since he shares the same last name as John Davis, one of the five main antagonists in Magnum Force. However, there is no relation between the two.