Chicago Mayor To Introduce New Interim Police Chief
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has rejected three finalists recommended by the Chicago police board for the city’s top police post and selected the force’s current chief of patrol as the new interim superintendent, his office said.
The mayor’s office said in a statement late Sunday that Emanuel was appointing Chicago Chief of Patrol Eddie Johnson as interim superintendent. A formal announcement was set for Monday.
Emanuel is trying to replace Superintendent Garry McCarthy, whose firing was part of a frantic effort to restore trust in the Police Department and his own leadership following the release in November of dash-camera footage showing a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager 16 times.
Johnson, who is African-American and a 27-year veteran of the force, was not among the police board’s recommendations. A former commander of the Gresham police district on the South Side, Johnson was promoted to deputy chief of patrol in 2012 and chief of patrol in December.
The statement said Johnson is a Chicago native who grew up in the now-demolished Cabrini Green housing project until he was 9 years old. As chief of patrol, Johnson commanded 8,000 officers, the statement said.
Johnson will take over during a time of immense turmoil marked by protests over police shootings. In one of the more high-profile cases, officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, which was captured on squad-car video and has prompted investigations, including a federal civil rights probe of the Police Department.
- Natalie Moore, South Side Chicago reporter for WBEZ and author of “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.” She tweets @natalieymoore.