The Watch

News and Information for Chicago FOP members.

Despite Media Reports, Superintendent Still Calls Shooting Justified

FOP Reps Confront Board

Last month, much of the media falsely reported a key finding in the disciplinary case against a Chicago Police officer accused of the unjustifiable fatal shootings of a bat-wielding offender and an innocent bystander in 2015. In a word, the media once again got the story all wrong.

In November, the media reported that Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson reversed a March opinion that the shooting of Quintonio LeGrier by Officer Robert Rialmo was justified. Then, a few weeks ago, paperwork submitted by the superintendent’s office was characterized by the press as a reversal of that opinion. That paperwork, the FOP has been assured, was a formality of the statute regarding Chicago Police Board cases, not a reversal of the superintendent’s March declaration that the shooting was justified. 

Here is an example of the erroneous reporting of the incident by WTTW, no newcomer to the game of getting the facts wrong.

Chicago’s police superintendent is recommending the firing of an officer who three years ago fatally shot a teenager and his neighbor while responding to a disturbance call.

On Wednesday, Superintendent Eddie Johnson filed charges with the city’s Police Board that recommend Officer Robert Rialmo be fired for shooting 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones. In making his recommendation, Johnson alleges “multiple rule violations.”

From CBS:

Months after saying Officer Robert Rialmo was justified in a shooting that left two people dead, including an innocent bystander, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has asked the Chicago Police Board to fire Rialmo for violating department rules in the 2015 shooting that killed 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones.

FOP First Vice President Pat Murray, Second Vice President Martin Preib, and Field Rep Robert Bartlett addressed the Chicago Police Board on Thursday and requested confirmation from the superintendent’s office. 

His spokesperson, Anthony Guglielmi, provided the FOP with the following statement that the police department stands by their March opinion that the shooting was justified:

The position of the Chicago Police Department was outlined in our non-concurrence letter to COPA and that has not changed. In accordance with the ordinance governing disciplinary cases, the matter will now be heard before the Chicago Police Board. 

The FOP is representing Officer Rialmo in the police board case and believes that the use of deadly force was justified.