Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 9 months, 2 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 7 - South Chicago

District of Incident (Present Day): 004 - South Chicago

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 26


Date of Birth: 09 Oct 1895

Date of Appointment: 12 Aug 1921

Date of Incident: 004 - South Chicago

End of Watch: 03 Apr 1922

Date of Interment: 06 Apr 1922


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
 Grave Location: Grave 2, Lot SS19, Block 5, Section M
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-7

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 15

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 6

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 29-E: 2

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: U.S. Army


Incident & Biographic Details

Probationary Patrolman Ernest Harry Cassidy, Star #2692, aged 26 years, was a 9 month, 2 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 7 – South Chicago.

On April 3, 1922, at 8:50 p.m., Officer Cassidy was on duty and escorting the Treasurer, Philip Sommer, of the Royal Building & Loan Association as he carried a satchel containing $4,200.00 in cash and $3,800.00 in checks, the day’s receipts. This was their nightly routine. They were walking to the bank located at 9117 South Commercial Avenue and as they walked down the street, Sommers exchanged greetings with passersby. In a coincidence of events he had a conversation with one man who had inquired about his regular evening walk of transferring cash. Sommers replied, ”Yes. You know last week I had a dream I was held up. So on that Monday I had them give me two policemen. Nothing Happened. So I reduced the guard to one again,” ironically unaware as to what would soon transpire.

Officer Cassidy and Mr. Sommers continued their walk and oddly there were no pedestrians within the last 100 feet of their walk. This was always a busy stretch and always bustling with pedestrians. As the men arrived in front of the bank, five armed offenders pulled up in a black touring car with its curtains drawn. Suddenly one man jumped out of the car and stood behind Cassidy and ordered him to put his hands up. Officer Cassidy attempted to draw his revolver, but he was unable to clear the holster before the man opened fire. Officer Cassidy was hit in the chest, the bullet passing through his heart. He collapsed to the sidewalk and died before a doctor arrived ten minutes later. The gunman then turned and fired upon Ernest Sommers mortally wounding him before grabbing the $8000.00 and fleeing the scene. Neither Officer Cassidy of Mr. Sommers regained conscious and were unable to provide any details of the events.

On May 3, 1922, Charles Conroy was arrested for the murders. On May 4, 1922, he was held to the Grand Jury without bail by Judge Rooney. On July 13, 1922, the charge against Conroy was stricken off the record by Judge Caverly.

Officer Cassidy was waked at his residence located at 631 South Hermitage Avenue. He was laid to rest on April 6, 1922 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 2, Lot SS19, Block 5, Section M.

Probationary Patrolman Ernest Harry Cassidy, born October 9, 1895, received a Temporary Appointment, #190, to the Chicago Police Department on August 5, 1919 and was issued Star #4116. He received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 12, 1921 and was issued Star #2692.

Officer Cassidy served in the U.S. Army from May 3, 1918 thru April 23, 1919 in Company B, 102nd Infantry, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was survived by his parents: Katheryn and Patrick and siblings: James, John, Thomas and Theresa.

Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #5867.