Memorial to Raymond V. Sinclair

End of Watch: December 28, 1934
Rank: Officer, Badge No. N/A
Years of Service: 9
Age: N/A
Location of Death: Bladensburg Road, NW

 

Circumstance:

Officer Raymond Sinclair was injured when his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle which attempted to make a left turn on Bladensburg Road, NE, at Queens Chapel Road.  Officer Sinclair was in the process of passing the vehicle on the left at the time of the accident. As he attempted to pass, the auto decided to turn left. Officer Sinclair suffered a fractured skull and crushed chest. He died the next day from his injuries.

 

Biography:

In 1926, Officer Sinclair made 3,482 arrests and got convictions in all but 13 of them, earning him the title of “world’s champion arrester”.  All were for minor traffic violations. Sinclair was made a patrolman on April 3, 1920, was mounted on a bicycle on August 1, 1927, and became a motorcycle policeman on October 16, 1927, when he was allowed $120 a year for the upkeep of the motorcycle that became the terror of Washington speeders.  He had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for nine years.

He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Margaret G. Sinclair. They had no children. 

Articles from the Washington Post – transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.
THE DEATH OF OFFICER RAYMOND V. SINCLAIR
WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED DECEMBER 28, 1934, PAGE 1

Sinclair Dying After Crashing Into Motor Car
Motorcycle of “Champion Arrester” Hits Auto on Road.
Motorcycle Policeman Raymond V. Sinclair, nemesis of speeders and champion arrester of the Traffic Bureau, was seriously injured last night when he crashed into an automobile at Queen’s Chapel and Bladensburg Road, NW. His death is a matter of hours, physicians said.

The accident happened about 8:45 p.m. while Sinclair, taking part in the drive on reckless drivers in an effort to cut down the District’s high fatality rate, was cruising along Bladensburg Road.

Sinclair, with Traffic Officer Ernest E. Spaulding, was going north on Bladensburg Road near Queen’s Chapel Road.  Spaulding passed to the left of an automobile.

Collides With Car.

As Sinclair attempted to pass, the car made a left turn and Sinclair crashed into it. He was taken to Casualty Hospital in a laundry truck.  His wife and a priest were hastily summoned. Doctors said Sinclair has a compound of the skull and a crushed chest.

The driver of the car was George A. Nolte, 20, a paperhanger, of 50 Quincy Place, NE. He was held for investigation.
Sinclair received his title of “world’s champion arrester” in 1926, when he made 3,482 arrests in 12 months and obtained convictions in all but 13 cases. All were for minor traffic violations.

He was severely injured October 17, 1929, while chasing an automobile on New Hampshire Avenue when his motorcycle skidded and he fell to the pavement at Rock Creek Church Road. At that time he was unconscious in a hospital for five days.
Sinclair was made a patrolman on April 3, 1920, was mounted on a bicycle on August 1, 1927, and became a motorcycle policeman on October 16, 1927, when he was allowed $120 a year for the upkeep of the motorcycle that became the terror of Washington speeders.

His wife is Mrs. Margaret G. Sinclair. They have no children. They live at 5313 Illinois Avenue, NW.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED DECEMBER 31, 1934, PAGE 6.
Raymond Sinclair
To the Editor of The Post—Sir:
It is with deep regret that I note the death of Policeman Raymond Sinclair. To my mind he has done more to curb reckless driving in a very reckless driving city than has the director of traffic or any member of the police department. If every member of the Metropolitan Police Department assigned to traffic duty had been had been as conscientious as he our disgraceful traffic accident record would have been far different.

Policeman Sinclair did not simply say what should be done or what he was going to do—he went out and did his job.
Oscar E. Lanscaster
Washington, Dec. 28