Longtime police veteran Eddie Johnson is officially the new superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Aldermen gave their unanimous approval today allowing the mayor to go around the Police Board in order to promote Johnson from his interim role.
Black Caucus Chairman Alderman Roderick Sawyer calls Johnson a “no-nonsense police officer who has made great strides to connect with the community.”
Eddie Johnson takes official oath as CPD Superintendent pic.twitter.com/8kCPPSaAbc— Lauren Chooljian (@laurenchooljian) April 13, 2016
As we previously reported, Mayor Rahm Emanuel promoted Johnson, a 27-year veteran of the police force, after throwing out the finalists hand picked by the police board. Normal city protocol is that candidates apply to the police board, the board then hands three finalists over to the mayor, and he selects one from the pile. Or, he rejects them, and the process starts all over again. Instead Emanuel rejected the board’s recommendations and named someone who was not in the running.
On Tuesday aldermen voted to allow a one-time change to the city code so the mayor could appoint Johnson to Superintendent without the police board’s help. Arguments from aldermen over the public safety “crisis” that the city faces won out over concerns by a handful of others that allowing the mayor to circumvent the police board sets a dangerous precedent and doesn’t seem transparent.
In other City Council news, the Council signed off on two police misconduct settlements, for a total payout of more than $6 million dollars.
Both Phillip Coleman and Justin Cook died while in police custody, and the money will be awarded to their families.