Patrolman James J. O'Brien

Patrolman James J. O'Brien

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, September 16, 1928

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James J. O'Brien

Patrolman James J. O'Brien was shot to death and his partner was critically wounded at 1:45 A.M. at the southwest corner of 63rd and Halsted Streets by an 25-year-old auto thief who was also wounded by O'Brien's partner. The officers came upon him as he was tampering with a car door lock. Although wounded, he escaped in a stolen car but was captured the same day in a doctor's office in Oak Lawn where he went for medical aid.

On September 17th, 1928, he was held by the coroner to the grand jury, which indicted him for murder. The suspect, age 27, was convicted of Patrolman O'Brien's murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison on January 25th, 1929. He applied for clemency on April 8, 1939. He was released at some point between 1941 and 1943. The exact date is unknown.

Patrolman O'Brien had served with the Chicago Police Department for six years and was assigned to the 15th District. He was survived by his wife and five sons. He was a World War I veteran.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 1544
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, September 14, 1928
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Released between 1941 and 1943

Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

Rest in peace and always know that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

To Sally O'Brien, God Bless you and your husband and many thanks for his service as well.

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

September 16, 2020

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