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Special Deputy Sheriff Arthur Lee | Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

Special Deputy Sheriff

Arthur Lee

Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

End of Watch: Tuesday, May 5, 1931

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 23

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 5/5/1931

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect: Six sentenced to life

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Special Deputy Lee and Special Deputy Jim Daniels were shot and killed in a gun battle with local miners during a strike at the Black Mountain Coal Company.

From Febuary to June in 1931 numerous confrontations erupted between coal miners, mine guards and law enforcement at the Black Mountain Coal Company in Evart. On April 17, during one of these confrontations, Special Deputy Jessie J. Pace of the Harland County Sheriff's Department was shot and killed. On May 5th several deputies were sent to the area to disperse the strikers who were clashing with non-union workers. No one knows who fired the first shot, but when the smoke cleared Deputy Daniels, Deputy Lee, a miner, and another man lay dead. An undetermined number of miners that were left dead and dying were carried off into the mountains. Governor Flem D. Sampson sent 370 national guardsmen to restore order. By mid June the strike had collapsed.

Six men were eventually arrested and charged with Deputy Daniels' and Deputy Lee's murder. All six were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Special Deputy Sheriff Jessie J. Pace
Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky
End of Watch: Friday, April 17, 1931
Cause: Gunfire

Special Deputy Sheriff Jim Daniels
Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky
End of Watch: Tuesday, May 5, 1931
Cause: Gunfire

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I helped to get your name on the LE Memorial in Richmond, KY. Your brother Felix was my grandfather. Just wanted you to know you are not forgotten. RIP.

Assistant Chief (R) L. Clark Arnold
Bowling Green (KY) Police Department
October 28, 2014

 

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