Sergeant James Alonzo Bell

Sergeant James Alonzo Bell

Memphis Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Friday, September 2, 1921

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James Alonzo Bell

Sergeant James Bell succumbed to stab wounds sustained the previous day while chasing a suspect who had taken his gun.

He was driving past the corner of McLemore Street and Third Avenue when he observed a male inside a cafe creating a disturbance. Sergeant Bell entered the cafe and placed the man under arrest. While attempting to take the suspect outside, another man grabbed his service weapon and ran outside.

Sergeant Bell pursued the suspect to the corner of McLemore Avenue and Rayburn Boulevard in an attempt to get his gun back. While he was chasing the suspect, a third man grabbed Sergeant Bell from behind, cut his throat, and stabbed him several times. Sergeant Bell staggered across the street and fell to the ground. He was rushed to the hospital but died a few hours later on the operating table.

Before he died, Sergeant Bell was able to identify the suspect who stabbed him in a photograph. All three suspects were apprehended within 12 hours and all were convicted of murder.

Sergeant Bell served with the Memphis Police Department for 22 years.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Incident Date Thursday, September 1, 1921
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Three convicted of murder

disorderly, foot pursuit

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Sgt. Bell,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Memphis.


United States Border Patrol

September 1, 2021

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