Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 12 years, 1 month, 8 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Traffic Division
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 40
Date of Birth: 06 Nov 1890
Date of Appointment: 23 May 1919
Date of Incident: 30 Jun 1931
End of Watch: 01 Jul 1931
Date of Interment: 03 Jul 1931
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 14
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 31
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 22-E: 17
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman James Joseph Casey, Star #2807, aged 40 years, was an 11 year, 8 month, 8 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Traffic Division.
On June 30, 1931, at 10:00 p.m., Officer James Casey had responded to a complaint by Miss Frances Bosky of 4339 South Greenwood Avenue. Also filing a complaint was her friend, Bert Boff. Bosky, a waitress related to Officer Casey that she and her escort, Mr. Boff, had been insulted by Coy Thompson of 4222 South Berkley Avenue, when she left her place of employment. She worked at a restaurant at 43rd Street and Oakenwald Avenue. The insult came after Bosky rebuffed Thompson’s rude advances. It was at that time that Boff stood up to Thompson when he pulled a gun on the couple. Officer Casey was able to locate and place into custody Mr. Thompson, confiscating a revolver in the process. While en route to the station, at 43rd Street and Oakenwald Avenue, Thompson drew a second weapon and shot Patrolman Casey eight times. Thompson made good his escape, but was captured 20 minutes later after police officers were apprised of his presence in a building at 4301 South Oakenwald Avenue, where he was re-arrested. Officer Casey sustained several gunshot wounds and died the next day on July 1, 1931.
Coy Thompson was held to the Coroner on the charge of murder. On July 6, 1931, he pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a jury trial. Thompson was convicted of murder and sentenced to 100 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Philip J. Finnegan. In 1960, Coy Thompson was paroled from prison after serving 29 years.
Officer Casey was waked at his residence located at 4463 South Lake Park Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Ambrose Church located at 1012 East 47th Street. He was laid to rest on July 3, 1931 in Mount Olivet Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman James Joseph Casey, born November 6, 1890, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 23, 1919.
Officer Casey served in the U.S. Army from June 1, 1918 thru March 3, 1919 in Company K, 35th Infantry, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was survived by his mother, Ellen (nee Daly) and siblings: Daniel, Edward, George, Helen L., Lorretta Lyman and May Bohart.
I have a photograph of my grandfather and “Casey” from sometime after 1910, both in CPD uniforms. If someone can confirm James J Casey was part of the motorcycle patrol during his career this photo will add to his memorial page. Casey is wearing the motorcycle gloves in this photo. I have had no luck obtaining my CPD family members records from CPD using FOIA. Maybe you know where they are stored and can access Casey’s file…. And share with me where I can get access to my family’s files. I would love to share this photo of two of Chicago’s finest and positively identify Casey. It is current posted on Chicago Genealogy FB page.