Patrolman Joseph W. Westlake

Patrolman Joseph W. Westlake

Narragansett Police Department, Rhode Island

End of Watch Friday, August 22, 1902

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Joseph W. Westlake

Patrolman Joseph Westlake was shot and killed after he and his partner responded to the sounds of shots being fired.

He and his partner were walking a beat along the old Narragansett Pier where casinos were located at the time. There was a fight in a nearby bar between two local men and two U.S. Army soldiers, during which, a soldier pulled his gun and fired at one of the men but didn't hit him.

Patrolman Westlake and his partner were alerted to the shots and ran to investigate. The soldier with the gun ran off with the officers in pursuit. During the chase, the soldier fired at the two officers, killing Patrolman Westlake and wounding his partner. The soldier was later apprehended and charged with murder.

The soldier, who claimed he thought the officers were two tramps he earlier had trouble with, was tried and acquitted.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Acquitted

shots fired call

Most Recent Reflection

View all 9 Reflections

Joseph was my great great grandfather. His name was actually Joseph James Westlake. Not sure where the "W" middle initial on your page comes from. He was born in the UK in 1871. He immigrated to the US with his father and brother when he was a child. When he was killed, he left two young children. My great grandfather was 7 and my great uncle was almost 2. Also, his father outlived him by 7 years.

My family didn't know Joseph since his homicide happened so long ago. But we appreciate his service and are proud to call him our ancestor. RIP.

Bradley Whitmarsh

August 28, 2020

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