Chicago top cop connected to Jussie Smollett case under investigation
The department is looking into allegations that the police superintendent was sleeping in his car after a night of drinking
Chicago’s top cop may have had one too many drinks, and was caught sleeping on the job in a car, according to the city’s mayor.
Now Eddie Johnson, the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, is asking that his own department launch an investigation into his conduct after he was seen snoozing at a stop sign in a vehicle. There’s no word on whether it was his squad car.
A motorist reportedly saw Johnson, 59, catching Z’s on a roadside and called 911. The superintendent said he was feeling light-headed and pulled over to catch some shut-eye. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Johnson admitted that he had “a couple of drinks with dinner.”
Lightfoot on Friday, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Johnson fessed up to drinking alcohol before driving.
“I know what the superintendent told me, which is that he was … changing medication … He’d been out to dinner with some folks. He told me he was driving home,” she said. “He felt ill and pulled over to the side of the road, which he believed was the prudent thing to do … [Internal Affairs Division] will sort out the rest.”
“We know he’s had some medical issues,” Lightfoot said.
“There were no charges of intoxication, no information of intoxication as far as I know,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesperson for the department.
Guglielmi, however, did say Johnson’s medication switch caused him to feel “exhausted.”
If you recall, Jussie Smollett made national headlines in February after claiming he was the victim of a racist attack in downtown Chicago. Johnson had a fit and slammed Smollett for what he called a fake hate crime hoax that cost the city thousands. Then-mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was equally outraged that the district attorney’s office dropped charges against Smollett, sent a letter to the actor demanding $130,000 for the resources used in the investigation into the allegations.
Johnson exuded a level of outrage, and anger that could have caused his blood pressure to go up.
“I’m left hanging my head and asking why,” Johnson said. “Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?” he previously said.
In June, Johnson also had a reported health setback and was hospitalized for a blood clot in his lung. Johnson also received a kidney transplant in August 2017. In 2016, then-mayor Emanuel appointed Johnson to his current role as superintendent. He earns a yearly salary of $260,044, according to the outlet.
Guglielmi says the investigation will encompass interviewing all parties involved to get to the bottom of the alleged offense.
“So what that means is they’re going to interview the officers, they’re going to look at all available evidence just to make sure that this is above-board and happened as described,” the spokesperson said.
Johnson said the department “ought to be held to the highest standard,” and that includes even holding him under the microscope for his questionable conduct.
Jussie may be sitting somewhere grinning.