Sheriff Joseph McKinney

Sheriff Joseph McKinney

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, August 15, 1850

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Joseph McKinney

Sheriff Joseph McKinney was shot and killed as he and his deputies attempted to arrest several squatters.

As a result of the California Gold Rush, several confrontations took place between Sacramento County property owners and squatters during the summer of 1850. Following the funeral of the city assessor, who was killed in a battle with squatters the day before, Sheriff McKinney and twenty deputies rode to Brighton where several squatters had barricaded themselves in a house. As they entered the house gunfire erupted. Sheriff McKinney and two squatters were killed before the other squatters were forced to surrender.

Sheriff McKinney had held the position of Sheriff for only five months and was the county's first elected Sheriff.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 5 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Two shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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Sheriff McKinney, if you were here to see how much your department has grown after almost 170 years you would definitely be proud. It is unfortunate that your tour only lasted five months, but thankfully we have many deputies willing to risk their lives today to stop crime in our county. Thanks to you will be remembered for many years.

Anonymous Civilian Interested in Law Enforcement

March 19, 2020

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