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Chicago mayor fires police chief, accusing him of lying

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 2, 2019 - Duration: 01:35s

Chicago mayor fires police chief, accusing him of lying

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Monday even though he was about to retire, accusing him of lying about an incident in October when patrol officers found him sleeping in his car.

Freddie Joyner has more.

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Chicago mayor fires police chief, accusing him of lying

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) CHICAGO MAYOR, LORI LIGHTFOOT, SAYING: Today, I am announcing that I terminated Eddie Johnson’s employment with the City of Chicago, for cause effective immediately." Chicago's mayor fired the city's police superintendent Monday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said superintendent Eddie Johnson, "engaged in a series of actions that are intolerable for any leader in a position of trust." Lightfoot accused Johnson of lying to her about an incident in October when patrol officers found him sleeping in his car.

Johnson, who commanded America's second-largest metropolitan police force for three years - initially said he had fallen asleep due to blood pressure medication, but local media reported that later Johnson admitted that he actually had a "couple of drinks" before driving.

After reviewing the city's ongoing investigation, Lightfoot terminated him.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) CHICAGO MAYOR, LORI LIGHTFOOT, SAYING: Just like with the public, Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me several times even where I challenged him about the narrative he shared with me, he maintained he was telling the truth.

I now know definitively that he was not." The firing comes just weeks after Johnson announced he would retire, saying the job had taken a toll on his health, family, and friends.

He presided over an 1,100-officer expansion of the force, the rollout of 7,000 body cameras and a city murder rate that, while declining, remains stubbornly higher than New York or Los Angeles.

Johnson did not answer questions about his termination outside his home.

Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck will replace Eddie Johnson at his role.

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