Chicago's Top Cop Requests Investigation On Himself After Being Found 'Slumped' In Patrol Car
He cited fatigue and his health as the reasons why he was found asleep.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson asked for an internal investigation on himself after officers responded to a 911 emergency call involving him, The Chicago Tribune reported.
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Johnson was found "slumped" in his parked patrol car near his home on Thursday at 12:30 a.m. He later said he forgot to take his prescribed medication, which led to him falling asleep on his way home from getting dinner.
“I didn’t have any symptoms when I left the restaurant,” Johnson said.
The superintendent said he started feeling ill later in the night, reminding him of an incident in January 2017 when he nearly collapsed following a news conference.
Johnson received a kidney transplant in August 2017 after his son, Daniel, who is now a Chicago officer, agreed to be his donor.
Chicago officers responded to the 911 call and woke Johnson up to check on him. Anthony Guglielmi, the police department’s chief spokesman, released a statement saying alcohol did not play a role in the incident.
Johnson was not given a breathalyzer or any other sobriety test and was able to drive himself home.
“Somebody being asleep in a car doesn’t mean they’re impaired in any way,” Johnson said.
The superintendent said a doctor’s visit after the incident revealed he had elevated blood pressure. Johnson also said he didn't have a driver with him at the time, which he usually does.
“Should I have had a driver with me last night? Yes, I should have,” he said.
The Chicago Sun-Times later reported Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Johnson had “a couple of drinks with dinner” before driving home.
She said the public should wait until the investigation is complete to judge the situation.
“When I take medication, sometimes it has side effects. I know from my parents. So, I take him at his word. The investigation will sort out the details….We’ll see what happens,” Lightfoot said.
She also declined to speculate on his job status.
“I don’t want to speculate like that. I want to give him respect. We will see what the circumstances are … We’ll see where the facts take us,” she said.
The superintendent, in the interest of transparency, asked for a “complete investigation” into the incident.
The case, which would normally reach Johnson’s desk, will likely go to First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Johnson was previously hospitalized in June after his doctors discovered a small blood clot in his lung during a stress test. The clot was later treated, the Associated Press reported.