The Co-Chair of the FOP Legal Defense Committee has sent a letter to the head of the Chicago Police Board demanding a full release of all documents by the city’s police civilian oversight agency regarding an investigation of a 2015 fatal police shooting.
FOP Field Rep Robert Bartlett sent a letter to the president of the Chicago Police Board, Lori Lightfoot, demanding that all records and findings related to a police shooting involving Officer Robert Rialmo be included in a board member’s decision on whether the shooting was justified.
Officer Rialmo, responding to a domestic disturbance call, shot Quintonio LeGrier and a bystander, Bettie Jones, as LeGrier wielded a bat and charged at Rialmo. COPA ruled the shooting unjustified, but CPD Superintendent Johnson rejected the finding, saying it was justified. The FOP has denounced the ruling by COPA.
Now the matter is before a member of the Chicago Police Board.
After COPA made the controversial ruling, FOP attorney Tim Grace discovered through a Freedom of Information request that COPA had kept third parties that had been hired by the agency in the course of their investigation hidden. The presence and findings of these third parties were not included in COPA's report, nor were they revealed to prosecutors or to the Superintendent.
“The failure of COPA to make known these outside parties and their conclusions is an egregious violation of Officer Rialmo’s rights and calls into question the legitimacy of the investigation against him,” Barlett wrote in the letter. “The Chicago Police Board member now reviewing the case is obligated to take into consideration any findings of these parties and make them public. A failure to do so would only magnify what we believe is a sinister investigation that has taken shape against Officer Rialmo.”
A decision is expected as early as tomorrow, April 19, at the Chicago Police Board meeting.