Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 4 years, 11 months, 18 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 33 - Summerdale

District of Incident (Present Day): 020 - Lincoln

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 30


Date of Birth: 22 Jun 1897

Date of Appointment: 05 Jul 1922

Date of Incident: 020 - Lincoln

End of Watch: 23 Jun 1927

Date of Interment:


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Memorial Park Cemetery - Skokie, Illinois
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-11

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 8

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 20

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 37-E: 7

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: U.S. Army and U.S. Navy


Incident & Biographic Details

Patrolman James Clarence Farley, Star #5269, aged 33 years, was a 4 year, 11 month, 18 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 33 – Summerdale.

On June 23, 1927, at approximately 12:00 a.m., a citizen, E. S. Cooper and his wife, came into the Summerdale station to report their automobile stolen. According to Cooper he had been driving on Berwyn Avenue between Lincoln and Western Avenues when another man, Jack Leathers of Normal, Illinois, brandishing a gun and driving a large vehicle forced his vehicle to the curb. Leathers then exited his car and jumped onto the running board of Cooper’s car and pointed his gun at him. Leathers then ordered Cooper to drive east. After driving a short distance, Leathers ordered Cooper to pull over and robbed him of $5.00 and then threw him out of the car.

While Mr. Cooper was in the process of telling his story to police, Patrolman James Farley and Sergeant Thomas Kehoe monitored a call which came into the station of a suspicious man with a flashlight trying to break into an apartment located at 2451 West Gunnison Street. Sergeant Kehoe and Officer Farley responded to the scene. While en route, at 1:35 a.m., the officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of Mr. Cooper’s automobile parked in front of 4936 North Rockwell Avenue with a man and women seated inside. The officers confirmed the auto to be Cooper’s and moved in to investigate. While attempting to place the male occupant, Jack Leathers, in custody he produced a revolver firing at the officers. The officers returned fire and a firefight ensued with all three men being hit and eventually succumbing to their wounds. While the gunfire was being exchanged, the female occupant of the car fled the scene.

Police investigating the shooting were able to identify Leathers by running his fingerprints. He had served time at the Pontiac Reformatory at the age of 19. Police also discovered that the car used to force Mr. Cooper to the curb was also stolen from Emil Svedian on June 22, 1927 at 10:30 p.m.

Officer Farley was waked at a funeral home located at 6959 North Clark Street was laid to rest on June 25, 1927 in Memorial Park Cemetery, 9900 Gross Point Road, Skokie, Illinois.

Patrolman James Clarence Farley, born June 22, 1897, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 5, 1922. He earned 1 Credible Mention and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $180.00 during his career.

Officer Farley served in the U.S. Army from April 7, 1917 thru November 17, 1919, was a veteran of World War I and the Spanish American War and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He also served in the U.S. Navy and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Seaman 2nd Class. Officer Farley was survived by his wife, Olga (nee Gassick), father, John J. and brother, John Edward. He was preceded in death by his sister, Katharine.

Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #8026.