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

View all 15 Reflections

My dad was also wounded responding to this officer in trouble call. That he was in the hospital and could not go to his friends funeral haunted him until he died a couple of years ago. Dad said they needed 7 or 8 fully loaded shotguns to get the door off the hinges and after that it was absolute chaos. He took me by the location and told me the whole story for the first time in 1987 when I came home from basic training. RIP

M. McEwen

August 15, 2017

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