Death Classification: Performance of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 16 years, 7 months, 16 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: 18th District - East Chicago

District of Incident (Present Day): 018 - Near North

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Illness - Cardiac Arrest

Age at Time of Death: 42


Date of Birth: 15 Mar 1930

Date of Appointment: 16 Nov 1955

Date of Incident: 018 - Near North

End of Watch: 02 Jul 1972

Date of Interment: 06 Jul 1972


Interment Details

 Cemetery: St. Joseph Cemetery - River Grove, Illinois
 Grave Location: Grave 10, Lot 117, Block --, Section RR
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-5

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 15

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed



 Military Service: YES, Branch Unknown


Incident & Biographic Details

Patrolman James R. Scannell, Sr., Star #7808, aged 42 years, was a 16 year, 7 month, 16 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 18th District – East Chicago.

On July 2, 1972, Officer Scannell and Patrolmen George Alvarado and Marion Sykes responded to a call regarding a drunk and disorderly customer at The Rush Up lounge located at 909 North Rush Street. Upon arrival the officers placed Christopher Pacelli, age 24, under arrest for disorderly conduct. When they attempted to put him into the squadrol he became combative and a struggle ensued. The officers were able to get Pacelli into the squadrol and closed the door. The struggle started again when a passerby was able to open the squadrol door freeing Pacelli. Following the struggle Officer Scannell became ill and collapsed. Officers Alvarado and Sykes attempted to revive Officer Scannell by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but were unable to save him. Officer Scannell was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival from a heart attack.

Christopher Pacelli was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Officer Scannell was waked in Hollerbach Funeral Home located at 4022-36 North Elston Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Veronica Church located at 3300 North Whipple Street. He was laid to rest on July 6, 1972 in St. Joseph Cemetery, 3100 North Thatcher Avenue, River Grove, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 10, Lot 117, Block –, Section RR.

Patrolman James R. Scannell, Sr., born March 15, 1930, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 16, 1955 and issued Star #7862. On December 25, 167, was issued Patrolman Star #7808 after reporting his previous shiel lost.

Officer Scannell served in the Armed Forces and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of Amvets Post No. 18, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 13. Officer Scannell was survived by his wife, Mildred (nee Carlson); children: Jerry J., James R., Jr., Karen, Kathleen Sanden, Kevin, Margaret, Martin, Mary and Maureen; mother, Margaret M. (nee Ahern) and siblings: Eamon O., Jeremiah J. (CPD), Margaret Jablonski and Mary Gruber. He was preceded in death by his father, Jeremiah.

On June 27, 2007, Officer Scannell’s star was retired by Superintendent Philip J. Cline and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.