Protesters call for firing of off-duty CPD officer allegedly involved in bar fight

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A protest Thursday urged the Chicago Police Department to fire Officer Robert Rialmo immediately in response to a video released Wednesday that allegedly shows him kicking another man to the ground then punching him at a restaurant in the Edison Park neighborhood on December 17, 2017.

Calling Officer Robert Rialmo a menace to society, protesters gathered outside CPD headquarters Thursday morning.

"Fire him, indict him, prosecute him immediately or some heads should roll. We're calling for Kim Foxx to step down, the mayor and the superintendent. We need action," said Eric Russell, a police accountability activist.

The fight happened last month at Moretti's Ristorante and Pizzeria in the city's Edison Park neighborhood. The video, released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), appears to show Officer Robert Rialmo knock another man to the ground and then punch him.

Tables are pushed around, people fall to the ground, and then a punch is landed by a man in a baseball-style shirt. Police identified that man as Rialmo.

As he leaves the bar with a couple of friends the manager calls 911.

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Surveillance video was released Wednesday showing a bar fight allegedly involving a Chicago police officer, who could be fired for the shooting deaths of two people 2015.

"I got a guy that just knocked out some other guy. I need a... I need police here immediately," the manager says in the 911 call.

Police said the fight happened in the early morning hours of Dec. 17. He was off duty, but CPD suspended him and charged him with two counts of battery and one count of theft for the bar scuffle.

His attorney said his client was the victim, and that the two men Rialmo is accused of punching tried to take his coat.

"These guys were drunk. They were the aggressors. They were trying to take his coat," said attorney Joel Brodsky. "It looked like they were going to attack him. They made motions like they were going to hit him."

Rialmo had been on desk duty for the 2015 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones. The shooting happened while Rialmo was on duty, responding to a domestic call. He claimed LeGrier swung at him with a baseball bat, while Jones, LeGrier's neighbor, was shot and killed accidentally.

COPA ruled last month that Rialmo's actions were unjustified, and that LeGrier was farther away from him than he reported. They recommended the five-year CPD veteran be fired.

The police superintendent's office has not commented on the matter.
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