Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 1 year, 8 months, 7 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 4th District - South Chicago
District of Incident (Present Day): 004 - South Chicago
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly (Accidental)
Age at Time of Death: 27
Date of Birth: 16 Nov 1947
Date of Appointment: 04 Jun 1973
Date of Incident: 004 - South Chicago
End of Watch: 11 Feb 1975
Date of Interment: 17 Feb 1975
Cemetery: Oak Woods Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Cremated
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-6
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 9
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 30
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 16-W: 16
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Jessie J. Brown, Star #10329, aged 27 years, was a 1 year, 8 month, 7 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 4th District – South Chicago.
On February 11, 1975, at 4:33 p.m., Officer Brown was working with his partner Patrolman S. Herron on beat 416. They responded to a call of a 10-1 by beat 420, Patrolmen McCorkle and Patrick Ryan who were assigned to a man with a shotgun at 8906 South Brandon Avenue. Shirley Driver, age 22, called 911 to report that her boyfriend Darris L. Ambrose, age 20, of 9039 South Buffalo Avenue, was armed with a shotgun and was trying to forcibly gain entrance into her apartment. Police had been to this location previously regarding Ambrose behavior. Officers McCorkle and Ryan arrived on scene and as they opened a door leading to the 1st floor hallway, Ambrose who was hiding under a staircase, jumped out with a shotgun in his hand and yelled, “Motherfucker, I’m going to kill you“ to Officer Ryan. Ambrose hiding in a stairwell leading to the basement of the building with a shotgun in one hand and a revolver in the other and had amassed a collection of guns and ammunition that he had arranged them on the stairs. Present was the shotgun, a .32 caliber revolver, a pellet gun and 25 shotgun shells. Hearing Ambrose threat, the officers backed off and radioed in a 10-1 for more backup.
The officers waited for more responding officers to arrive, Beats: 404, Patrolmen Warner Campbell and Gene E. Taylor; 413, Patrolman Raymond Mills; 416 and Patrolmen Jessie J. Brown and Samuel Herron responded to the scene. The officers made entry through the side window of the Boyd family’s apartment and advanced through the apartment to the basement corridor at a position behind where Ambrose was holed up. Officer Campbell exited the apartment and confronted Ambrose. Ambrose spun around with a shotgun in one hand and a revolver in the other pointing the revolver at Officer Campbell. Officer Campbell pushed the shotgun aside, grabbed Ambrose’s revolver and struck him on the head with his service revolver causing Ambrose to crouch down. A struggle then ensued and Officer Taylor grabbed Ambrose from the rear. At this point the shotgun had fallen to the floor and the revolver was taken from Ambrose. During the struggle Ambrose grabbed Officer Taylor’s right hand in which he was holding his auxiliary weapon. The weapon discharged and the bullet struck Officer Brown in the abdomen, the bullet lacerating his liver and penetrating his heart, which caused him to collapse to the floor. Ambrose kept shouting that the officers would have to kill him. Ambrose was able to be subdued and placed into custody shortly after the discharge while other officer carried Officer Brown out to the squadrol. Officer Brown was transported to South Chicago Community Hospital by beat 472. He underwent surgery and died on the operating room table. Officer Brown was pronounced dead by Dr. Magsaysay at 8:20 p.m. on February 11, 1975.
Darris Ambrose was arrested and charged with 1st degree murder, five counts of attempted murder, four counts of armed violence, one count of resisting arrest and several gun related charges. His plea for bail was denied and he was ordered held without bail pending his trial by Judge Thomas W. Walsh.
Officer Brown was waked at A. R. Leak Funeral Home located at 7838 South Cottage Grove Avenue, his funeral mass was also held at A. R. Leak Funeral Home. He was cremated and entombed on February 17, 1975 in Oak Woods Cemetery, 1035 East 67th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Jessie J. Brown, born November 16, 1947, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 4, 1973. He earned 1 Honored Police Star (posthumously) during his career.
Officer Brown served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1971 to 1972, was a veteran of the Vietnam War and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his wife, Leora (nee Towns), age 26; children: Carmen Anise Towns, age 1 and Lavora Marie Towns, age ; step-daughter, Tanya Wilson, age 4 and parents: Cora (nee Tarber) and Thomas.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #T056138.