CHICAGO (AP) – Documents, audio from a civilian 911 call, and police footage of the former chief of Chicago police who reportedly fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle in October were released to the public on Monday through the city of Chicago.
A citizen saw former Chicago police commissioner Eddie Johnson stall at a corner of South Side Street, slumped in his seat. Audio from a 911 call reveals that the man tells a police dispatcher that the SUV’s lights were off, but smoke was coming from the vehicle’s exhaust.
The city inspector general said it was investigating what happened that night in October, but the agency has not released a report on the findings.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Johnson in December citing “ ethical mistakes, ” including telling lies about being found behind the wheel of his car after drinking a drink. In his initial comments on the case, Johnson blamed his failure to take blood pressure medications and feel sick while driving home from dinner with friends.
The moment she fired Johnson, Lightfoot said he had finally admitted to her that he was out for dinner with friends and had a few drinks before firing his driver and taking himself home.
Police footage released on Monday shows Johnson behind the wheel when an officer arrives and records his information. The officer asks Johnson if he wants to be in the car or go home. He says he wants to go home and drives off after the officer wishes him goodnight.
Johnson defended his ride home without being tested for drinking and said, “Someone who sleeps in a car doesn’t mean he or she is disabled.”
Following his resignation, Johnson said in a statement that he “intentionally misled or cheated” anyone about the incident, adding that he made a “bad decision” and had a “judgmental error.”
Before Johnson was fired, Johnson, who was appointed by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, announced after three years as Chief Inspector of the Chicago Police Department that he wanted to spend more time with his family. According to city records, Johnson receives a monthly pension of approximately $ 16,000.
Before Monday, city officials refused to release the video and documents, citing Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s ongoing investigation. After releasing the information on Monday, Kathleen Fieweger, spokeswoman for Chicago’s legal department, declined to say when the city received Ferguson’s documents.
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