Police Officer William Slappey

Police Officer William Slappey

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Wednesday, March 11, 1970

William Slappey

Police Officer William Slappey was shot and killed, and another officer was wounded, as he and several other officers exchanged gunfire with a man.

The officers had entered an area of an apartment building known to be a narcotics trafficking area searching for stolen property. The suspect said he opened fire on the officers, who were in plain clothes, because he thought they were going to rob him.

On December 10th, 1970, the suspect was acquitted when another officer admitted in court that the bullet that killed Officer Slappey may have come from his gun.

Officer Slappey was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

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"A policeman's first obligation is to be responsible to the needs of the community he serves...The problem is that the atmosphere does not yet exist in which an honest police officer can act without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers. We create an atmosphere in which the honest officer fears the dishonest officer, and not the other way around." Gone but not forgotten.

Cordell Collier
Best Friend

March 8, 2018

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