Policeman Charles P. Williams

Policeman Charles P. Williams

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, January 13, 1923

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Charles P. Williams

Policeman Charles Williams was shot and killed while working a vice detail along Central Avenue. He and his partner were working undercover when they were flagged down by a citizen who told them a man was waving a gun at a nearby house. The officers knew this house to be a brothel. It was later discovered that the man was the landlord of the house and had entered to impose a vigilante clean-up of the house by evicting prostitutes. As they were driving there, the police car broke down and Policeman Williams decided to walk the rest of the way. Upon his arrival, he told the man to put his hands up. The suspect fired twice, striking Policeman Williams in the abdomen.

A passing truck transported Policeman Williams to a nearby hospital where he died from his wounds.

The suspect was later captured, but it is unknown what happened to him. The suspect claimed he did not know Policeman Williams was an officer.

Policeman Williams is the first known African-American Officer to be killed in the line of duty in Los Angeles. He was survived by his wife.

City officials have designated the downtown intersection of Central Avenue and Sixth Street as Officer Charles P. Williams Square.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 567

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

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Officer Williams,
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 Los Angeles.


United States Border Patrol

January 13, 2023

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