Officer William L. Copeland

Officer William L. Copeland

Little Rock Police Department, Arkansas

End of Watch Thursday, December 31, 1885

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William L. Copeland

Officer William Copeland was killed after being assaulted by a jail trusty who was on work release.

Officer Copeland was in uniform walking to work at 1900 hours when he spotted the trusty standing on the corner. With the knowledge that trusties had to be back to the jail by 6:00 pm, he began to question the man.

The suspect had a special permit to be out until 10:00 pm, however, and during the questioning the man hit Officer Copeland in the head with a blunt object and fled the scene. Officer Copeland was found about two hours later and taken to a local drug store where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after midnight.

The suspect was apprehended and convicted of Officer Copeland's murder.

Officer Copeland was survived by his wife and three children. He was a Civil War Veteran who served as a private with the 20th Ohio Infantry, Company C.


  • Age 40
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Wednesday, December 30, 1885
  • Weapon Blunt object
  • Offender Convicted of murder

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Lest We Forget

Ptl. B L Waltz (Ret)
Avon Lake PD OH

July 21, 2020

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