Police Board hearings begin to determine fate of CPD officer involved in 2015 double fatal shooting

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A hearing was held Monday to determine whether Chicago police officer Robert Rialmo will remain with the department.

Rialmo shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier, a 19-year-old experiencing a mental health crisis, in December 2015. Rialmo pulled and discharged his weapon after he says the teenager, who was armed with a baseball bat, swung at him twice.

One of the bullets intended for LeGrier instead hit and killed a neighbor, 55-year-old Bettie Jones.

In opening statements Monday, Rialmo's attorneys argued that LeGrier caused Jones' death, not the police officer.

"A cop like that don't deserve a badge because that means all of us are in danger," said Janet Cooksey, LeGrier's mother.

Martin Prieb, vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police, disagreed.

"This was a tragic but justified shooting," he said. "I don't know what people expect. Are police officers supposed to get hit in the head with a bat now? Beat up with a baseball bat?"

Attorneys for the City of Chicago argued that Rialmo was reckless because he could have used alternative uses of force like pepper spray, a baton or a Taser.

Rialmo was only carrying his gun when responding to the incident, however. The officer had let his Taser certification lapse and left his baton in his police vehicle.

A civil verdict concluded the shooting was justified. Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson initially agreed but later filed several charges against Rialmo and recommended that he be fired.

"I don't think it is appropriate for me to really comment on it," Johnson said of the hearing that began Monday and that's expected to last three days. "So we'll see how it plays out and we'll go from there."

Cooksey hopes it ends with Rialmo's firing and an apology from the officer.

"All I want to see from him is some remorse," she said through tears. "You're a human being; you're not a robot."
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.