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Special Deputy Sheriff Jessie J. Pace | Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

Special Deputy Sheriff

Jessie J. Pace

Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

End of Watch: Friday, April 17, 1931

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 54

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 4/17/1931

Weapon: Handgun

Suspect: Acquitted

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Special Deputy Jessie Pace was shot and killed as he and a group of 12 other deputies attempted to serve warrants at the Black Mountain Coal Company that had been the scene of a strike for two months.

The deputies had arrested one person when they observed a group of approximately 30 people standing near by. One of the men in the group started to walk towards a coal car and Deputy Pace followed him. As the man walked around the coal car, he suddenly opened fire on Deputy Pace, striking him in the abdomen. Other deputies returned fire and wounded the suspect. The suspect, along with 12 other miners, were charged with murder. The man charged with shooting Deputy Pace was acquitted at trial.

Three weeks later, Special Deputies Jim Daniels and Arthur Lee of the Harlan County Sheriff's Department were shot and killed during a confrontation over the same strike at the same mine. National Guardsman were then sent in to restore order which caused the strike to collapse a month later.

Special Deputy Pace was survived by his wife and three children.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Special Deputy Sheriff Jim Daniels
Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky
End of Watch: Tuesday, May 5, 1931
Cause: Gunfire

Special Deputy Sheriff Arthur Lee
Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky
End of Watch: Tuesday, May 5, 1931
Cause: Gunfire

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I remember reading about the Coal mine strikes and the National Guard being brought in.

Colleen Nolan Ralston
a distant cousin
June 30, 2013

 

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