Officer who died 13 years ago honored after cause found to be service-related

CHICAGO -- A Chicago police officer who passed away from injuries he sustained in the line of duty became the latest name added to the Police Memorial Wall next to Soldier Field Tuesday afternoon.

Officer Eddie Lee Jackson was involved in a violent confrontation back in 1977, and although he survived, he was horribly wounded and later passed away from his injuries in 2003.

39 years after the shooting that killed him, and 13 years after his death, bagpipes played for Officer Jackson as fellow officers gathered to pay their respects.

“Officer Jackson died doing the job he loved, serving the city and country he loved even more,” said Phil Cline of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

Jackson’s story goes all the way back to October 1977 and a confrontation near Chicago and LaSalle. He was shot in the head, lost part of his skull, and suffered severe brain damage. While he survived until 2003, last June a forensic pathologist reviewed his death and found it directly related to that shooting decades ago.

“The motto is ‘we never forget,’” said CPD Chief Anthony Riccio of the Buearu of Organized Crime. “Officer Jackson’s been gone now for 13 years and yet we gather here to pay homage to him and show our appreciation and respect for the sacrifice he made.”

Lee Jones was convicted in the shooting of Officer Jackson, and each time he comes up for parole, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation fights his release. And each time, they’re successful.

Tuesday night, Soldier Field will host to the 13th annual candlelight vigil for Chicago’s 574 fallen officers, and both Mayor Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner are expected to attend.