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Constable James Quinn | Chicago Police Department, Illinois Chicago Police Department, Illinois


James Quinn

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Monday, December 5, 1853

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 39

Tour: 9 months

Badge # 9

Cause: Assault

Incident Date: 12/2/1853

Weapon: Person

Offender: Sentenced to 5 years

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Constable James Quinn succumbed to injuries sustained in two previous incidents in which he was attacked and severely beaten while in the discharge of his duties.

The first attack occurred after he served a warrant on a man in a notorious hideout for criminals known as the Sands. Constable Quinn was walking the prisoner to the Watch House when the man asked to return inside to retrieve his property. As the two walked back inside the establishment's owner attacked him, breaking one a rib and injuring his jaw. The prisoner escaped during the attack.

The following evening an arrest warrant was delivered to Constable Quinn to be served on the subject who had escaped his custody the previous evening. Upon his return to the Sands, Constable Quinn came upon the subject who had assaulted him the night before, and was again attacked by this man. Quinn was thrown to the ground and kicked several times suffering fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

Despite being critically injured, Constable Quinn reported to roll call the following morning. He returned to the Sands a third time, resulting in the arrest of the original suspect and the owner who had attacked him.

Constable Quinn's condition worsened throughout the day, causing congestion of the brain. He succumbed to the injuries the following day.

The suspect was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison for killing Quinn.

Constable Quinn had been elected Constable of the Ninth Ward only 9 months earlier. In 1853, the Constable served a dual role as police officer during the early stages of the Chicago Police Department.

Constable Quinn's widow and three children were compensated $50 from city funds after the Police Department ruled that Quinn was killed in the discharge of his duty.

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I too, would like to honor Constable Quinn, not only for being the first Chicago officer killed in the line of duty, but for being a pure example of what devotion to duty truly is, and serving as the first example of his outstanding service to many more generations of officers who follow in his footsteps.

I couldn't get over the above story of how Constable Quinn turned out for work the next day in spite of his injuries the day before, and continued his quest for the arrest of his soon to be killer. We all should have someone to look up to such as the likes of Constable Quinn.

I myself got disabled in the performance of my duties with the Chicago PD. I salute those with the heroism of Constable Quinn.

Rest easy, my brother. I hope to meet you some day.

Ret. P.O. Harold J Hanley, Star#17480

Ret. P.O. Harold J Hanley
Chicago PD
April 16, 2017


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