P.O. James A. Alfano #4707

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Name: Alfano, James A.
Star: 4707
Memorial Panel #: #PANEL#
Rank: Patrolman
District / Unit: Gang Intelligence Unit
End of Watch: 16 August 1970
Incident Details: Police Officer James Alfano, Jr., 30, was an 8-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Gang Intelligence Unit. On August 13, 1970, Officer James Alfano, Jr., was riding in an unmarked squad car with two other officers from the gang intelligence unit – Officer Richard Crowley, the driver, and Officer Thomas Donahue, front passenger. The officers were investigating a gang fight when they saw that the street lights had been broken in the vicinity of 67th Street and Blackstone Avenue. As they drove through an alley behind the Southmore Hotel – former Black P Stone Nation Headquarters until July, 1970 – they encountered a blockade in the middle of the alley. Officer Crowley reversed the vehicle and drove into the east-west leg of the alley where he encountered a second blockade. As the officer tried to push through the blockade, shots rang out. A bullet pierced through the trunk and traveled into the backseat where it struck Officer Alfano in the liver. The officer was rushed to Billings Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on August 16, 1970. Seven Black P Stone members were arrested in connection to Officer Alfano’s murder and charged with conspiracy to commit murder: Charles Bey, 24; William Troope, 22; Lee Jackson, 26; Tony Carter; 17; Eton Wicks, 22; Lamar Bell, 26; and Dennis Griffin, 21. During the trial, Black P Stone gang member, Ceasarei Marsh testified that on the day of Officer Alfano’s murder, two gang meetings were held. During the meetings, Edward Bell-number 3 in command-gave orders to break street lights and set up blockades in order to ambush gang intelligence officers. Marsh heard Bey – number 2 in command – order Tony Carter to put two snipers on the ground and one on the hotel’s roof. According to Marsh, he witnessed Carter tampering with two electrical control boxes. Additionally, four juveniles who were arrested for breaking street lights, told police that the gang had ordered the area be darkened. Another witness, Ernest Williams, 18, testified that an hour prior to the shooting he saw Jackson, Bey, and Carter pushing the couch into the alley while Throope watched and held a rifle. Ultimately, the seven defendants were exonerated and what followed was months of sniper shootings directed at Chicago Police Officers. Cesarei Marsh, the witness, was murdered in March, 1971. Officer Alfano’s funeral mass was held at St. Gerald Church and he was laid to rest in St. Mary Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Judith; son, Johnny; daughter, Jackie Lynne; and sister, Grace.