P.O. Spencer Thornton Jr., #327

po-spencer-thornton-327
Name: Thornton Jr., Spencer
Star: 327
Memorial Panel #: #PANEL#
Rank: Patrolman
District / Unit: Chicago Park District
End of Watch: 09 March 1945
Incident Details: Police Officer Spencer Thornton, 45 was assigned to the Chicago Park District Police. On September 3, 1945, Officer Thornton was at a 2nd Ward Democratic picnic at the 31st Street Beach when he attempted to stop a fight. Two picnic guests, Will Robinson, 45, and James Coppage, 44, were fighting when Officer Thornton approached the men. Coppage immediately drew a gun, fatally shot Robinson, and wounded Officer Thornton. Another police officer assigned to the picnic shot Coppage; he survived the incident. Officer Thornton was transported to Michael Reese Hospital where he died shortly after arrival.

James Coppage, 45, was sentenced to serve two life sentences in prison.

Officer Thornton was laid to rest in Lincoln Cemetery.