Police board member agrees with COPA, fate of officer involved in 2015 shooting goes to full board

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The full Chicago Police Board will decide if Officer Robert Rialmo will be fired for a 2015 shooting that killed Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones after one member agreed with COP (WLS)

The full Chicago Police Board will decide if Officer Robert Rialmo will be fired for a 2015 shooting that killed Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones after one member agreed with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability over Superintendent Eddie Johnson.



LeGrier and Jones were fatally shot by Rialmo in December 2015 when officers responded to a 911 call from LeGrier's father, who said his son had a baseball bat in his hand.

Rialmo fatally said LeGrier was coming at him with a bat when he fired at him.

Rialmo also shot and killed Jones, LeGrier's neighbor, accidentally. Jones came out of her apartment to open the door for police.

Following an investigation, COPA called the shooting unjustified and recommended Rialmo be fired. But Johnson disagreed with that finding, and said in his own report that Rialmo followed the police use of force policy in place at the time of the 2015 shooting and should be exonerated.

Late in 2017 the police department revised that policy.

Chicago Police Board Member Eva-Dina Delgado was the randomly-selected member of the board who reviewed the reports, and agreed with COPA's disciplinary recommendation.

"An evidentiary hearing before the police board is necessary to determine whether Officer Rialmo violated any of the police department's rules," she said.

Now the entire Police Board will review the case and hold a hearing before deciding Rialmo's fate. Exactly when that disciplinary hearing will take place, and how long the process will last, was unclear.

"The process was put in place so that if there is a disagreement, there's another entity that settles the dispute," Supt. Johnson said.

LeGrier's mother just asked that the board to do the right thing.

"Do the right thing. Just do the right thing. That's all I ask, just do the right thing," Janet Cooksey said.

Rialmo's attorney, Joel Brodsky, released a statement following the decision:

"We are profoundly saddened that politics, concern over votes, and public opinion has again trumped the facts and the truth. COPA, made a deeply flawed decision ignoring the facts and the law. Superintendent Johnson made a brave decision focusing only on the facts, only to once again be overthrown by politics and the decision making of a single person who has no experience in use of force issues. This only proves that the entire COPA disciplinary system is deeply flawed and skewed against the police.

The case now goes to the full police board, where will be able to present expert evidence, and cross-examine witnesses, and show that beyond a doubt, Officer Rialmo was justified when he used deadly force when he was attacked with a baseball bat by Quintonio LeGrier."
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