Police Officer Joseph Nelson Smith

Police Officer Joseph Nelson Smith

Palm Beach Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Wednesday, June 6, 1923

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Joseph Nelson Smith

Officer Joseph Smith succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained three days earlier when he encountered three men leaving a beach carrying turtle eggs and turtle meat.

The day after his death, the body of his suspected killer was found hanging from a tree in Palm Beach.

Officer Smith had served with the Palm Beach Police Department for 3 years. He was survived by a brother who also served with the agency at the time.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, June 3, 1923
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Lynched

environmental crime, arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Smith,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Palm Beach.


United States Border Patrol

June 6, 2023

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