Trooper Arthur L. Staples, Jr.

Trooper Arthur L. Staples, Jr.

Rhode Island State Police, Rhode Island

End of Watch Friday, December 18, 1931

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Arthur L. Staples, Jr.

Trooper Arthur Staples was shot and killed while attempting to arrest two 16-year-old car thieves on Tower Hill Road, in North Kingstown.

He had stopped the stolen vehicle for a traffic violation and determined that neither one had a valid license. As he drove the car back to the Wickford barracks one of the boys pulled out a gun and shot him in the back of the neck, killing him. The boys then dumped his body on the roadway and fled in the vehicle. They were arrested the following morning.

The suspect who killed Trooper Staples was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was denied parole on November 3, 1954.

Trooper Staples had served with the Rhode Island State Police for 18 months.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge 77

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

auto theft, juvenile offender, transport

Most Recent Reflection

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Trooper Staples, it has been 92 years since you were taken from us. New England law enforcement has continued to thrive, learn and become safer due to the traditions and sacrifices you, your family, and many others have made for us. Thank you for your law enforcement service.

Chief (Ret) Steven Marshall
Georges Mills, NH

December 18, 2023

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