Patrolman John Wilson

Patrolman John Wilson

Portsmouth Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Saturday, November 11, 1871

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John Wilson

Patrolman John Wilson was shot and killed during a late-evening political rally at the intersection of High Street and Court Street. A group of drunk men started shooting, injuring two black people, during a Conservative Party of Portsmouth march. Patrolman Wilson attempted to intervene. Several people were arrested but no further information is known.

Patrolman Wilson is believed to be one of the first black police officers to serve in the United States and to be one of the first black police officers ever killed in the line of duty.


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

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Wilson,
On today, the 150th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Portsmouth.


United States Border Patrol

November 11, 2021

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