Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson let the people down


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Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson let the people down

Season 1 Episode 21, Dec. 3, 2019

The "Ray Hanania on Politics" podcast

Eddie Johnson was fired Monday (Dec. 2, 2019) by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Lightfoot said Johnson misled her, and also misled the people of Chicago. I give Lightfoot credit for doing the right thing because Eddie Johnson did mislead the people of Chicagoland, setting a poor example that goes against everything that we expect from someone who serves to protect the public.

Johnson has not been truthful about what happened to him on Oct. 16, 2019 and the early morning hours of Oct. 17, 2019 when police found him slumped over the wheel of his Black SUV. Whose SUV was it anyway, by the way. Why was he slumped over? I don't think the public has ever received an honest explanation from Police Supt. Johnson. He could have given us one, but he did not.

Instead, Johnson released a statement after Lightfoot fired him citing the inconsistencies in what he told her and the public, arguing that he should not be judged for the one incident in his long 30-plus year career as a police officer. I say that since we never received a full honest accounting of what happened -- and what happened to him is very important, that it does matter and he should be judged by that one incident. How do we know he did not use clout to protect himself in past incidents that may or may not have happened? Can we trust him to be honest when he was not honest at this crucial moment as a leader and role model for justice in our region.

Here's my podcast opinion about this mess that Johnson just doesn't want to explain the.way he should explain it. And the idea that he should not be judged by this one incident in the wake of his long and distinguished career raises the issue of how we should judge others. Should criminals, gang bangers, street gang thugs and drug dealers not be judged by the moment that they get in trouble? Is that a defense that can be made before a judge?

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Here is a part of Johnson's statement:

  • "I am making this public statement today, my first as the former superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. I am of course disappointed that I could not finish my career on January 1, as originally planned. However, I respect yesterday’s decision of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Any police superintendent serves at the discretion of the mayor; that’s how it is and that’s how it should be.
  • "When I announced my retirement last month, I stated proudly and accurately that I was leaving the Chicago Police Department with my integrity intact. That is still true today. If some want to question that belief, that is their right; but I know in my heart that I have always tried to act in a way that is in the best interests of this great city. One thing I want everyone to know is this: I did not intentionally mislead or deceive the Mayor or the people of Chicago. I acknowledge that I made a poor decision and had a lapse of judgment on the night of October 16. That was a mistake and I know that. However, I have no interest in fighting a battle for my reputation with those that want to question it now. Reputations are not built in a day and not damaged in a day either. They are the result of years of living. We reap what we sow in this world. I will simply rely on the reputation for integrity that I think I have earned during my long career, with the faith that we should all be judged by the entirety of our lives and not on what happened on our worst days. "

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