Emanuel defends CPD superintendent's decision in officer-involved shooting

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel is defending a controversial decision by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to call for the exoneration of an officer involved in a deadly shooting.

It comes one day after Supt Johnson's letter was made public and the mayor himself was forced to give a deposition in the case.

On a day when he announced a new street sweeper tracking app, Mayor Emanuel swept aside questions about his three-hour deposition Thursday at the Daley Center.

"As you know, I can't say anything and I'm going to abide by that," said Emanuel.

That's because city lawyers convinced a judge to keep the deposition under seal.

The mayor was questioned in connection with the deaths of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones who were shot and killed in 2015 by Officer Robert Rialmo.

An attorney for the LeGrier family said Thursday keeping the deposition under wraps flies in the face of the mayor's promise of transparency.

"There's an irony that Mayor Emanuel has rank-and-file members of the Chicago Police Department wearing body cameras to promote transparency and openness but a different set of rules applies for him," said Jack Kennedy, the attorney for the LeGrier estate.

"We made sure we brought a level of transparency as it relates to videos and that's exactly what exists today. It's a change in policy in and that is consistent with what we said in that effort," said Emanuel.

A handful of demonstrators gathered outside the mayor's office and criticized a letter by Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson in which he called for Rialmo to be exonerated in direct conflict with a report by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability which called the shooting unjustified.

"It just never seems to fail how our voices are never seem to be heard and that we never get the justice that we truly deserve," said student activist Alycia Kamilmoatan.

The mayor defended his superintendent without taking sides.

"He's made his statement as you guys know that's not the end of the process," said Emanuel.

The Police Board will ultimately decide Officer Rialmo's fate after weighing the recommendations and evidence presented by both COPA and the Police Superintendent.
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