Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was fired Monday a couple of weeks earlier than his deliberate retirement — the beautiful early dismissal by Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued alongside a stinging rebuke of the town’s former prime cop that cited his “moral lapses” and “deliberately dishonest” solutions relating to a controversial October incident.
The ignominious finish to Johnson’s tenure comes a couple of weeks after he introduced plans to retire on the finish of the yr. His determination to depart the job got here amid intense scrutiny of an Oct. 17 encounter wherein cops reportedly discovered Johnson asleep in his automobile at a cease signal. Lightfoot later mentioned Johnson confessed to her he had “a couple of drinks with dinner” earlier than getting behind the wheel that night time, and the incident was nonetheless being investigated as of Monday.
“Upon an intensive overview of the supplies of the Inspector Basic’s ongoing investigation, it has turn into clear that Mr. Johnson engaged in a sequence of moral lapses which are insupportable,” Lightfoot mentioned in a biting statement Monday. “Mr. Johnson was deliberately dishonest with me and communicated a story replete with false statements relating to materials points of the incident that occurred within the early morning hours of October 17.”
She added: “Had I identified all of the information on the time, I’d have relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there.”
Lightfoot went on to say Johnson “has misled the folks of Chicago.”
“The 13,400 sworn and civilian members of the Chicago Police Division who work arduous every single day deserve a frontrunner who they’ll imagine in,” she mentioned.
At a swiftly referred to as information convention, Lightfoot declined to supply particulars “out of deference” to Johnson’s spouse and kids and the continuing investigation. The report might turn into public sooner or later, she mentioned.
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who was already named interim superintendent in Chicago, was to take over instantly, Lightfoot mentioned.
In October, Johnson referred to as for the division’s inner affairs division to research the incident. He mentioned he felt lightheaded whereas driving house, pulled over and fell asleep. He mentioned he wished the general public to be assured that each he and the officers had acted correctly.
Johnson, a local Chicagoan, held nearly each rank in his greater than three a long time on the power. He was named superintendent in 2016 by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who had fired Superintendent Garry McCarthy after video was launched exhibiting Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally capturing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Johnson, then the interim chief, hadn’t even utilized for the position, however Emanuel eschewed the suggestions of the police board and selected him.
Johnson additionally has come underneath withering ridicule from President Trump, each on Twitter and in a latest Chicago speech — that Johnson boycotted — to a nationwide convention of police chiefs. Through the look, Trump referred to as Chicago a haven for criminals.
On the early November information convention wherein Johnson introduced his retirement, Lightfoot mentioned he’d agreed to serve by the top of the yr.
“These stars can sometimes feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world,” mentioned Johnson, whose uniform consists of 4 stars on every shoulder. “This job has taken its toll, taken a toll on my health, my family, my friends.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.