The Mayor didn’t like the choices he was given in the vetting process for a new Chicago top cop.
So he asked the City Council to do away with that process.
The City Council Public Safety Committee approved changing the current city law that requires a second Police Board search after the mayor rejected the board’s three finalists and opted to appoint Johnson instead.
The measure was approved a near-unanimous vote, with only Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson speaking out against it.
“Who is now vetting, who is doing the background check,” Thompson said.
Yesterday the City Council unanimously voted for the Mayor’s choice, Eddie Johnson.
The City Council Wednesday confirmed 28-year Chicago Police Department veteran Eddie Johnson as the new top cop, with one alderman saying “he knows the streets.”
Oh, I am sure he does.
What he really knows about the streets he isn’t sharing.
And according to the Task Force report issued at about the same time Johnson was confirmed, “the streets” are exactly where bad things happen when the CPD gets involved.
The Task Force was created by the Mayor after the video of the killing of Laquan McDonald was released after being hidden for 400 days.
Police in Chicago have “no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color” and have alienated blacks and Hispanics for decades by using excessive force and honoring a code of silence, a task force declared Wednesday in a report that seeks sweeping changes to the nation’s third-largest police force.
Johnson has been a part of that culture for 28 years. Johnson’s unanimous approval by the City’s Alderman came without a single serious question being asked of him.
Meanwhile Injustice Watch reports:
Officers in the South Side Gresham District were the subject of repeated complaints of misconduct and improper searches and arrests while interim police superintendent Eddie Johnson was commander, an Injustice Watch investigation has found.
Between 2008 and 2012, the years that Johnson commanded the district, Injustice Watch identified 15 federal lawsuits accusing a group of officers of illegal searches and arrests, at times using unnecessary force. Though the facts vary, a pattern emerged from the lawsuits:
Officers in the Gresham district are repeatedly accused of approaching people on the street, questioning them, and then, in four cases, allegedly strip searching the people being questioned. Nine of the cases involve allegations of force by the officers.
In ten cases the people being questioned were charged with drug crimes or such other violations as resisting or obstructing officers. All ten of the cases ended in the charges dismissed, in findings that no probable cause existed, or in not guilty verdicts.
In the other five cases, no arrest records were found in relation to the alleged encounters with police.
Records kept by the Invisible Institute, based on data obtained following lawsuits, show that the officers involved were subject to repeated citizen complaints, almost all of which ended with findings from the Illinois Police Review Authority (IPRA) that the complaint could not be sustained. Most of the officers had not been disciplined in any cases; the most harsh was one five-day suspension.
Eleven of 13 officers named in repeated cases are still employed by the Chicago Police Department.
The pattern of alleged misconduct, revealed in the federal lawsuits, comes as City Council Wednesday is expected to take up the permanent confirmation of Johnson to be the next superintendent, replacing Garry McCarthy, whom Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired in December in the fallout that erupted after the release of police video of officer Jason Van Dyke shooting teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.
The City Council is preparing to name Johnson at Emanuel’s urging even though Johnson never went through the process that the city set up, in which candidates for superintendent are to be reviewed and recommended by a nine-person police board.
Told of the Injustice Watch findings, a source familiar with board vetting practices said Tuesday, “That’s 100 percent the reason why there needs to be a vetting process. Because all of this would have been discovered in the process.”
Johnson did not respond to a request for comment through the police department’s press office. The mayor’s office also failed to respond to requests for comment, as did the chairwoman of the Police Board, Lori Lightfoot.