Jussie Won: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Fires Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson announces his retirement during a news conference at the Chicago Police Department’s headquarters, Nov. 7, 2019, in Chicago.
Photo: Joshua Lott (Getty Images)

Barely a month removed from singing his praises, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has fired Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson for being the same thing he accused embattled actor Jussie Smollett of being: a lying-ass liar.

If you’ll recall, Johnson infamously demanded an apology from the Empire star on behalf of the city of Chicago for that whole MAGA beatdown fiasco and in an unexpected turn of events, it would appear that it’s now Johnson who needs to apologize.

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“The findings [...] make it clear that Eddie Johnson engaged in conduct that is not only unbecoming, but demonstrated a series of ethical lapses and flawed decision making that is inconsistent with having the privilege of leading the Chicago Police Department,” the mayor said during a City Hall news conference on Monday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

On Oct. 17, Johnson was found slumped over in his police SUV at approximately 12:30 a.m.

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The circumstances were rather peculiar, as it’s not every day that we hear about police superintendents being found drunk in their own vehicles. However, after noting that Johnson didn’t display any visual signs of impairment, police allowed him to drive home without making him perform a field sobriety test.

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But clearly something in the water wasn’t clean—or maybe it just tasted like bourbon—so Lightfoot got some things off her chest during her impromptu press conference.

“Had I known these facts at the time, I would have relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there. I certainly would not have participated in a celebratory press conference to announce his retirement. Mr. Johnson failed the hard-working members of the Chicago Police Department. He intentionally misled the people of Chicago and he intentionally misled me. None of that is acceptable.”

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Lightfoot also alluded to an inspector general’s report that could shed light on her reasoning for terminating the 59-year-old’s employment.

From the Sun-Times:

Under repeated questioning, the mayor hinted strongly at some kind of a smoking gun that made the facts she already knew infinitely worse.

Noting that Ferguson’s investigation “as to others” involved remains ongoing, the mayor added: “While at some point, the inspector general’s report may become public and those details may be revealed, I don’t think it’s appropriate or fair to Mr. Johnson’s wife or children to do so at this time,” she said.

“I hope we can all take care to treat them with dignity and respect.”

Pressed on whether it was fair to accuse Johnson of lying without saying precisely how he was lying, Lightfoot said, “Yeah, I think it is. I think it’s important for me to make sure I don’t do anything to influence or taint the ongoing investigation of the inspector general. And there are certain things that, maybe they will become public later. But out of deference to his wife and his children, it’s not my narrative to tell.”

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Yikes.

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According to the Sun-Times, Johnson was briefed on the mayor’s decision during a City Hall meeting that lasted about as long as J. Holiday’s career. And when asked how he responded to the news, Lightfoot kept it short: “Accepting.”

After 31 years on the force, Johnson was set to retire in January. But considering the police department he oversaw is in dire need of a culture change, the city of Chicago might consider this an early Christmas present.

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Somewhere Smollett is cackling away over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

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About the author

Jay Connor

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.