Constable James Quinn Foundational Evidence & the Case in Context
Quinn ELECTED & Oath of Office Dec. 12, 1853: the Night Watch was paid for EXTRA SERVICES re: the 12/04/53 arrests of REES & Parmilee Sept. 14, 1857: Common Council POLICY RELATIVE TO APPROVING COMPENSATION to OFFICERS INJURED ON JOB Nov. 1868: HISTORICAL CORROBORATION shows Quinn in discharge of duty in Reese Affair Dec. 12, 1853: Common Council FIRST FINDS: Quinn killed in the discharge of his duty March 6, 1854: Common Council AGAIN CONCURS Quinn killed in discharge of his duty & compensates his widow. IACP MODEL POLICY Defining Line of Duty Deaths The POLICE RULES of 1853
Chicago Police Department1833-1871 • There was no codified policy or definition of a “line of duty death” in the early police department. Rather, the definition of a LODD appears to have emerged by practice rather than by policy. • The circumstances of each case were evaluated separately. This process led to a two-pronged test: • Was the officer engaged in the discharge of his duty when fatally injured? • Was the death a result of a malicious, hostile act?
Four police deaths during the period 1833 to 1871 • Two of the deaths resulted in payments by the city to widows • Two of the deaths did not result in any compensation to the widows.
Payments to widows of slain officers • Fatal Injuries: • Quinn (1853) & Lauer (1854) • Both officers were found to have been engaged in the discharge of their duties when fatally injured. • Both deaths resulted from malicious attacks by violent offenders • The city compensated both widows.
No Payment to widows of slain officers • Fatal Injuries: • Churchwood (1864) & Hansen (1871) • Both officers were engaged in the discharge of their duties when fatally injured. • However, both deaths resulted from non-malicious circumstances, i.e., unforeseen consequence of a fall or accidental shooting. • The city did NOT compensate the widows
Payments to officers who were injured on duty • Non–Fatal Injuries: • In 19 separate cases from 1853 to 1871, the medical bills of injured officers were paid by the city provided: • the officer established that he was engaged in the discharge of his duties when injured. • That said injuries resulted from a malicious act committed by an offender.
NO PAYMENTS to Non-Line of Duty injuries • Day Policeman John C. Webber • Off duty • In a bar on Aug. 11, 1854 • Beaten with a pipe in barroom brawl • Constable Thomas Melvin • Off duty • In a bar on Nov. 30, 1856 • Stabbed in chest on during bar fight
Never Sought Compensation • Neither Webber nor Melvin ever petitioned the city for compensation for their injuries. • Why? • Because neither officer could establish that he was engaged in the official discharge of his duty when injured.
CURRENT DEPARTMENT POLICY • A Line-of-Duty Death defined: “The death of an active duty officer by felonious or accidental means during the course of performing police functions while on- or off-duty. This official 1993 I.A.C.P/ L.O.D.D definition was adopted by C.P.D. in 2006.
CURRENT DEPARTMENT POLICY • Today, both the 1864 death of Officer John C. Churchwood and the 1871 accidental killing of Officer Niels L. Hansen would both be considered “line of duty deaths” by the Chicago Police Department because each falls within the current CPD definition of a Line of Duty Death.
A Timeless Rule of Police Work Section I POLICE RULESof 1853 “ALL OFFICERS MUST BE PREPARED TO ACT ON A MOMENT’S NOTICE.”
Quinn case Compared • The evidence supporting Quinn’s line of duty death is Incontrovertible. • The city twice determined that he was engaged in the discharge of his duty when sustaining the injuries that caused his death. • He was the victim of a malicious and felonious attack for which the offender was convicted of manslaughter. • Consequently, his widow was compensated.
“EVEN IF” • Even if one were to imagine that Quinn was “off duty” and “in a bar” when he came face to face with Rees… • Remembering the TIMELESS rule of police work that all officers MUST be prepared “to act on a moment’s notice” • Recalling that Rees was no ordinary citizen but the man who had attacked Quinn the night before allowing for his prisoner to escape… • And remembering the IACP definition of a line of duty death, Let’s compare the Quinn case…
The case of Deputy Superintendent Riordan viewed in its best light, still only rises to the level of the Quinn case taken in its worst light. In a Bar - Off Duty - QUINN Confronted by - Hostile Offender “All officers must be prepared to act at a moment’s notice” Yet today, Riordan is rightfully regarded as a hero and Quinn “is not worthy of being honored.” - Confronted by Hostile Offender RIORDAN - Off Duty - In a Bar
Quinn and Riordan • “An Inconvenient Truth” or • The height of hypocrisy? • Discuss.