CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson will retire from the division after dealing with three years of high-profile crimes and a federal probe into police shootings, whereas additionally reducing town’s murder price from a two-decade excessive, a police spokesman stated on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks at a information convention at Chicago Police headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Lott/File Photograph
The 31-year-veteran who had labored his approach to the helm of the second-largest U.S. police power from beat cop will “announce plans to retire,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated on Twitter.
He didn’t say when the announcement could be made.
Johnson had not too long ago verbally tussled with President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly assailed Chicago’s crime price.
“I can’t, in good conscience, stand by whereas racial insults and hatred are solid from the Oval Workplace, or Chicago is held hostage due to our views on new Individuals,” Johnson stated final month, explaining why he had skipped Trump’s speech to the Worldwide Affiliation of Chiefs of Police in Chicago.
Chicago’s murder price stood at a 20-year excessive of 792 in 2016, when Johnson took over the police division, and had dropped to 561 by the top of 2018.
The announcement that Johnson, 59, will step down comes three weeks after patrol officers discovered him asleep in his automobile early on Oct. 17. He initially stated he had fallen asleep because of blood strain medicine, however later, native media reported he instructed Mayor Lori Lightfoot he had had a “couple of drinks” earlier than driving.
Individually, New York Police Division Commissioner James O’Neill introduced earlier this week that he would step all the way down to take a brand new job within the non-public sector.
Johnson instructed the Chicago Tribune he had been “toying with” retirement for a while.
Throughout a latest household journey to observe the Chicago Bears play the Oakland Raiders early in October in London, “it made me notice how a lot of a sacrifice you make for your loved ones if you tackle positions like this,” Johnson instructed the paper.
Johnson was appointed in 2016 by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel to revive public belief after the earlier superintendent, Garry McCarthy, was fired amid public outrage that town delayed for greater than a 12 months the discharge of a video that confirmed a white officer’s deadly taking pictures of black teenager Laquan McDonald.
A U.S. Justice Division investigation into Chicago police shootings discovered widespread extreme power and racial bias by cops. It led to a consent decree, a federally enforced settlement overseeing Chicago police reforms.
Though Johnson credited the usage of knowledge analysts for the lower in homicides and shootings, the variety of murders in Chicago stays increased than the mixed quantity in New York and Los Angeles, two bigger cities.
Johnson has handled well being points. After practically fainting in January of 2017, the police superintendent made public that he suffered from a power kidney ailment that required a transplant. In August of that 12 months, his son donated a kidney to him in a life-saving transplant surgical procedure.
Throughout his time as police chief, Johnson additionally grew to become entangled in a high-profile case towards actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a phony hate crime on town’s North Aspect on Jan. 29.
Smollett was charged with against the law, however these expenses have been later dropped by the native prosecutor, angering Johnson and Emanuel. A particular prosecutor was assigned in August to take a look at the case and the way it was dealt with.
Trump lashed out at Johnson final month in a speech, with out particulars or supporting proof.
“It’s embarrassing to us as a nation. Everywhere in the world, they’re speaking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a secure place by comparability,” stated Trump. “It’s as a result of he’s not doing his job.”
(This story corrects Johnson’s age to 59, as an alternative of 60, in seventh paragraph)
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien; Enhancing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum