Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer James T. Sackett, Sr.

St. Paul Police Department, Minnesota

End of Watch Friday, May 22, 1970

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Reflections for Police Officer James T. Sackett, Sr.

Officer Sackett,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the USAF. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

May 22, 2020

Rest in peace Officer Sackett.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 22, 2020

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. Thank you Hero and your family for your courage and sacrifice to this country. Always remembered.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret.)
Upland Police Dept. CA

May 22, 2020

Family remembers fallen St. Paul police officer on 50th anniversary of his death with front lawn tribute

Posted May 21, 2020 Twin Cities news

It’s been 50 years since her husband was killed by a sniper while on duty with the St. Paul Police Department, but Jeanette Sackett, 77, says the hurt never goes away.

“It’s still so painful this time of year for me,” she said. “I think it always will be.”

Her family and the department had planned to honor James Sackett, Sr. in a big way this year, along with other fallen officers, during National Police Week. When COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings canceled those plans, Jeanette decided to move the memorial to her front lawn and invite the public to drive past and honk their horns as tribute.

“I was not going to let Jim be forgotten,” she said. “He was a great husband, my best friend and a perfect father to our children.”


On Friday, the public is invited to drive past her house at 1633 Atlantic Street between noon and 4 p.m. There will be displays set up in the front yard of Jim, his badge, his officer’s hat and several photos.

Jeanette invited the police department to attend, sending out 500 invites to current officers and 200 to retired officers. She’s been told many will drive by and that they’ll be bringing a little surprise for her as well.

“Officer Sackett’s murder has stood as a reminder of the very real dangers St. Paul’s guardians face and the sacrifices their families make,” said St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. “Today, as we prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of his death, it’s also heartening to know that his community hasn’t forgotten him, his loved ones or those who followed him into the profession of law enforcement. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to lead a procession to honor both Officer Sackett, his wife, his children and the grandchildren he never got to meet. Their sacrifice must always be remembered.”

Jim and Jeanette met on a blind date at a pool party in Louisiana. He was in the service and she was going to business college. He told her that night he planned to marry her.

In the spring of 1962 at the England Air Force Base, Jim kept his promise.

They married, moved to St. Paul and Jim entered the police academy. They had four children, the four “J’s” — Jim Jr., Jennifer, Julie and Jerel.

“We had our family, we had our home. Everything was going good,” Jeanette said. “He loved the job. When he put that uniform on, it was all business.”

Jim, 27, had been on the force 18 months, and was on his first day back after taking time off for Jerel’s birth. Jeanette remembers odd details about that day, May 22, 1970, such as how he made a point to kiss everyone in the house good-bye, honking his horn and waving as he drove off to work.

“When he left, he kept hugging me and hugging me and he said, `When I get home at 4 o’clock (in the morning), you be up for me,'” she said in an earlier interview.


He and his partner, Glen Kothe, were lured to a Selby-Dale area house by a fake medical call about a pregnant woman.

They arrived to find a darkened house and no signs of an emergency. Jim stayed in front while Kothe went around to check the back door.

A shot rang out, followed by a scream. Kothe raced to the front of the house to find his partner lying on the sidewalk in a pool of blood. An unseen sniper armed with a .30-caliber high-velocity rifle had shot him just above his badge. The shooter would not be convicted for 36 years.

The investigation was frustrated by the racial tensions of the time. The people of interest in the case refused to tell what they knew, but eventually that changed and witnesses came forward.

In 2006 Ronald Reed was convicted of the murder. Witnesses at his trial testified that he had plotted to kill a white officer in hopes of inspiring the Black Panthers to start a chapter in St. Paul.

The family has been dragged back to court several times since, as Reed and his accomplice Larry L. Clark, who was originally convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy, appealed the convictions.


In the mean time, the Sackett children grew up without a father. All of them are in their 50s now and Jeanette has seven grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

“As a child we went to the cemetery for birthdays, Father’s Day and holidays,” said Julie Sackett, 51, a caregiver who now lives in South Dakota. “My memory is ‘Happy birthday and ‘Let’s go to the cemetery.’ What I want people to know is what we’ve missed in 50 years, everything that our family has missed because he was taken in a selfish way.”

Jeannette said if she could have one more moment with her husband she would want him to know that his kids turned out well and that he is not forgotten.

Retired Police Officer

May 21, 2020

I was in the ER when officer Sackett came in to St Paul-Ramsey Hosp that sad night. So glad this officer's assassins finally given justice. A year after this happened when the Black Panthers were strongly suspected of this murder, I had to nervously drive through Oakland, CA on my way to my ship docked at the Oakland Naval Supply Depot. Oakland was the birthplace and headquarters for the Black Panther movement.
So glad that I checked this site tonight. Convicting the shooters does not bring back this young officer, but it is so good to find out justice was finally done.
I hope Officer Sackett's family has done well. God Bless!

David Petersen, MD
self employed, physician

February 19, 2018

Many thanks for your service in our country's military and law enforcement. RIP and my condolences to your family.

John Haseltine - Civilian

August 15, 2016

God bless you, Officer Sackett! I remember standing on the corner of 7th & Atlantic Streets with many others, saluting your casket as it passed us. Such a terribly sad time. I was 12 years old, but have never forgotten that horrible day for your family & the entire city. You will always be gratefully remembered.

Sue (former St. Paul resident)

October 28, 2015

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
God Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito

May 22, 2015

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 42nd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Your heart is in my heart's embrace. Thanks to your family and friends for sharing their memories and devotion to you through their reflections.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

May 22, 2012

Thanks for your 18 months of services, James.


March 5, 2012

I never knew you Jim. Just the stories I heard. My family was as close to your family as the man next to you that night. So close yet so so far away. I was 1500 miles away that night and felt the thunder of that night from the city I was born. I came back a couple of months after. I came back and tried to understand why you had to die. After all these years many do not understand they just accept. Even if justice is sometimes not fair or equal. God gave us rules to follow. I give my son to Law enforcement to continue enforcing those rules in your honor. I pray you watch over him. And those stories of you will always keep you alive in our hearts forever. Every time I look up into that big blue sky above I remember why that line is so blue down here.

So near yet so far away
your friend always

March 10, 2009

Your Grandfather will never be forgotten. We continue to protect the citizens of St. Paul as your Grandpa once did. You are right to call your Grandpa a Hero. He is a hero to all of us.

St. Paul Police

December 16, 2007

I am James T. Sackett's granddaughter and I just wanted to say that if I had one wish it would be that he hadn’t answered that call that night but I believe that everything happens for a reason...=] James is my hero and always will be even though I didn’t have the chance to meet this wonderful man I love him!!!

a little girl with a big heart
would have been granddaughter

December 13, 2007

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

November 29, 2007

Now that your murderers have been arrested, tried & Convicted, they will come to me. It will be difficult to watch over them. But as you now finally rest in peace as you so long have knowing that these inmates are finally doing the time they so long deserve.
Know that we behind the walls stand with you, and when we join you on heavens beat, we will rest together, knowing that people like your killers are resting in a less enjoyable place, where they belong.
Please watch over us, please protect us, and please stand with us. Until we see each other in Heaven my friend......

Corrections Sergeant
MN Department of Corrections

May 8, 2006

Finally--Justice!! Rest in peace, Officer Sackett. Know that your family and friends never forgot the sacrifice you made.

Officer Lynn Cronquist
Minneapolis PD

March 10, 2006

nice job to all the ones involved in bringing the james sackett killers to justice

March 5, 2006

Justice will be done.Rest in Peace Sir and may your family now have some comfort.

March 2, 2006

The following is a letter sent to Chicago City Councilwoman Madeline Haithcock who has sponsored an ordinance to name a city street "in honor" of a former chairman of the Black Panthers who advocated murdering police officers.


King County, in Seattle Washington just announced today that they will adorn all county seals, flags, papers, patches and badges with the image of Martin Luther King... I personally am proud to wear the image of my childhood "HERO" on my uniform and badge.

I am however shocked and appauled that you sponsored an ordinance to name a city street "in honor" of a former chairman of the Black Panthers who advocated murdering police officers. Members of the radical group were responsbible for the murders of 5 law enforcement officers, including 2 Chicago officers during his chairmanship.

I can think of the families of the murdered officers (Frank Rappaport ~ John Gilhooly ~ Glenn Smith ~ Kenneth Patrick ~ Ricky Kinchen), and how horrified they might feel to see this supposed honor. Please think of "all" involved before moving on with this idea.

Officer Glenn R. McGloughlin
King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention

March 2, 2006

Ronald Reed has been found Guilty. Finally some justice...

Rest in Peace

March 2, 2006

The wheel has gone 'round, albeit slowly. Justice has prevailed. God, grant that Officer Sackett rest in peace and bestow Your blessings and comfort upon him and his family.

Never give up. Never forget.

Minnesota Sergeant

March 1, 2006

I have never been more proud to be a St. Paul police officer than on the day it was announced that the Off. Sackett's killers were finally going to be brought to justice. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to this effort. Rest in peace Off. Sackett.

St. Paul Officer
ST. Paul Police Department

February 10, 2005

Persistence has paid off at last. Bless the St. Paul PD and all MN agencies as they hopefully are greatly encouraged by this awesome development. Only trial and sentencing remain.

Son of a retired cop
They're all ONE

January 19, 2005

Though it was tough at times, we never lost hope that one day justice would be served. Our prayers have been answered.

Never forget this guardian, this hero.

A Former St. Paul Officer

January 17, 2005

Rest In Peace Officer James T. Sackett SR. May you always be remembered! Bless you and your family.

Sgt. R. D. Lansing
United States Army Military Police

January 16, 2005

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