Patrolman John J. Barrett

Patrolman John J. Barrett

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, May 6, 1886

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John J. Barrett

Patrolman John Barrett succumbed to wounds sustained in a bomb blast two days earlier.

Patrolman Barrett was one of the many officer assigned to disperse a protest meeting near Haymarket Square on May 4th, 1886. A deadly bomb explosion, followed by an intense gun battle, ensued. Patrolman Barrett sustained serious injuries. He died two days later from the injuries he received.

Eight men were arrested and charged with the officers murders. Seven were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The other one was sentenced to 15 years. On November 11, 1887, four of them were executed by hanging. The day before one of the suspects killed himself in his cell with a smuggled dynamite cap which he detonated in his mouth. The other three were pardoned by Governor Altgeld in 1893.

Patrolman Barrett served with the Chicago Police Department for 15 months and was assigned to the 3rd Precinct. He was survived by his wife, mother, brother and three sisters.

Eight police officers were killed during the Haymarket Riot labor dispute. The officers were at the scene of a civil disorder when the rioters opened fire and threw a bomb into the crowd. Eight police officers suffered fatal wounds and 70 other people were injured by the gunfire and explosion.

The officers who were killed included Patrolman Mathias Degan, Patrolman John Barrett, Patrolman George Miller, Patrolman Timothy Flavin, Patrolman Thomas Redden, Patrolman Nels Hansen and Patrolman Michael Sheehan. Patrolman Timothy Sullivan succumbed to his wounds two years later, on June 13, 1888.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 1 year, 3 months
  • Badge 557

Incident Details

  • Cause Bomb
  • Incident Date Tuesday, May 4, 1886
  • Weapon Explosives; Bomb
  • Offender Four executed

bomb, crowd control, Protest

Most Recent Reflection

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No passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

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

May 6, 2021

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