Chicago's Police Superintendent Terminated After Inconsistencies In October Incident
Superintendent Eddie Johnson was found asleep in his car with the engine running in mid-October.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was fired after she received details into an incident in October where Johnson was found slumped over, sleeping at the wheel of his squad car, with the engine running. This according to a Monday press conference.
Initially, Johnson — reported by CBS Chicago — says he had been drinking with friends when he felt lightheaded due, possibly, to him failing to take his blood pressure medication. He explained he visited his cardiologist twice in the same week after having a blood clot in the summer and was given new medication — which in trying to swap the old with the new, forgot both altogether.
Lightfoot later made public Johnson had admitted to going out to drinks with friends before he was found asleep at the wheel.
"Out of [an] abundance of caution, I pulled over to the side and stopped, even though I was relatively close to home. Someone called 911 and reported a person asleep at the stop sign,” Johnson said at a press conference in October. “Responding officers did come. They checked on me and confirmed that I could continue on my way. Also, that feeling that I was feeling had passed by that time."
Lightfoot made the announcement of his termination — effective immediately — at an impromptu news conference on Monday, where she read from a prepared statement.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Mayor Lightfoot to make an announcement from City Hall. Tune in! https://t.co/jFXWVBlqMu— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) December 2, 2019
"Upon a thorough review of the materials of the inspector general’s ongoing investigation, it has become clear that Mr. Johnson engaged in a series of ethical lapses that are intolerable," Lightfoot said in her statement. "Mr. Johnson was intentionally dishonest with me and communicated a narrative replete with false statements regarding material aspects of the incident that happened in the early morning hours of October 17."
New details from the investigation are not yet public, though Lightfoot says had the new information been heard earlier, Johnson would have been terminated sooner.
“In public life, we must be accountable for our actions and strive to do better every day," Lightfoot said. "And to achieve the reform and accountability in the department that we know is urgently needed, we require a leader whose actions reflect the integrity and legitimacy of what it means to be a Chicago police officer."
Johnson was brought in by former Mayor Rahn Emanuel following the firing of the previous Superintendent Garry McCarthy for his involvement in the LaQuan McDonald coverup.
Johnson will be succeeded by former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck while the police board conducts a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.