Detective Sergeant Samuel Coppedge

Detective Sergeant Samuel Coppedge

East St. Louis Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, July 1, 1917

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Samuel Coppedge

Detective Sergeant Samuel Coppedge and Detective Frank Wadley were shot and killed during a race riot.

Earlier in the day a car occupied by white males had driven through a black area of the city and fired several shots randomly into a group of citizens. An hour later the detectives were driving through the same area and were mistaken for the original suspects. Several citizens opened fire on their car, killing both detectives.

The shootings sparked a massive race riot in the city. 38 black people and 9 white people were killed, although it has been argued ever since that the number of blacks killed was much higher. The killers of the two detectives were never identified.

Detective Coppedge was survived by his wife and is buried at Saint James Cemetery in Saint James, Missouri.


  • Age 45
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender At large

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that no passage of time will ever erase your sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

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

July 1, 2020

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