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

View all 15 Reflections

It’s been 149 years since your heroic and untimely death, but know that your service and sacrifice are always remembered and honored by your fellow law enforcement. Rest in peace always sir.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

November 11, 2020

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