Chicago’s Top Cop, Who Blasted Jussie Smollett For Hate Hoax and Snubbed Trump, Set To Resign, Report Says
Eddie Johnson, who blasted prosecutors’ decision to drop charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, is reportedly set to announce his retirement as superintendent of the city’s police.
“His departure would be announced as city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson continues to investigate an incident into police officers finding Johnson asleep in his car last month. He later told the mayor he had a few drinks earlier that evening,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Johnson is under investigation following the Oct. 17 incident, in which officers found in his parked car at 12:30 a.m. Johnson was not tested for driving under the influence of alcohol and was allowed to drive himself home. Johnson told officers he felt ill because of his medication, but he later told Mayor Lori Lightfoot that he had “a couple of drinks” earlier in the night.
But Johnson said he was not stepping down because of the incident, but rather to spend more time with his family.
“I have given 31 years now to this city, and almost four as superintendent,” Johnson said, according to the Tribune. “You know, but I recognize also that at some point it’s time to create another chapter in your life. And I will tell you all this: When my family and I went to London for the Bears game, that’s the first vacation like that that I’ve had since I became superintendent. And I looked at my family and it made me realize how much of a sacrifice you make for your family when you take on positions like this.”
Smollettt, who is black, allegedly hired brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, who also are black, to attack him in a hate hoax crime in January.
To boost his claim that the attackers were white, Smollett said the two men yelled racist and homophobic comments, at one point invoking President Trump’s signature slogan, “Make America Great Again” by saying, “This is MAGA country.”
A Chicago grand jury indicted Smollett in March on 16 felony counts that he allegedly lied to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime. Those charges came after he was arrested in February and charged with felony disorderly conduct for the allegedly false police report.
But the Cook County, Illinois state attorney’s office last month suddenly dropped all charges and sealed the case. “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” the office said in a statement.
Johnson did not like the decision.
“If you want to say you’re innocent of a situation, then you take your day in court. I would never, if someone falsely accused me, I would never hide behind a brokered deal in secrecy, period,” Johnson said in a joint appearance with then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“I’ve heard they wanted their day in court with TV cameras so America could know the truth, but now they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system,” Johnson said.