Former top cop Eddie Johnson drank ‘several servings of rum,’ sat in parked car for 2 hours: report

Chicago News

CHICAGO — New details are emerging about the night that cost former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson his career.

Police officers found Johnson slumped over his steering wheel at the intersection of 34th Place and Aberdeen Street on Oct. 16.

The inspector general’s quarterly report reveals he was parked there for two hours.

Before that, the report says Johnson drank “several large servings of rum” at the Ceres Cafe with a female member of his security detail.

The IG report said Johnson drove the woman to police headquarters around 10:30 p.m. and then headed home. However, the former top cop stopped for nearly two hours on the street with his vehicle running. Just after midnight, someone called 911.

Last month, the city released body camera footage that showed responding officers deferring to Johnson, once they realized who he was. 

“Do you want to sit here or go home?” an officer is heard asking Johnson in the video.

“I’m good,” Johnson says.

“You good? Alright Sir, have a good night,” the officer says.

What the video didn’t show is what happened after officers let Johnson go without a field sobriety test.

The inspector general said police dash cam video showed officers followed Johnson as he initially drove away from his house, blew through a stop sign, and turned into a wrong lane.

GPS data shows they appeared to escort him as he drove back toward his house.

After the incident, Johnson said he ordered the Bureau of Internal Affairs to conduct an internal investigation. The inspector general says despite that promise the day after the incident, the internal affairs investigation was never ordered.

Johnson blamed a mix-up of medication and set a retirement date. However, when Mayor Lori Lightfoot learned a short time later that Johnson had been drinking with a female subordinate, she fired him.

“Mr. Johnson failed the hard-working members of the Chicago police department,” the mayor said in December 2019 — two months after the incident. “He misled the people of Chicago. And he intentionally misled me.”

The report said in addition to driving under the influence, Johnson made false statements and refused to sit for an interview with investigators.

The report has also provided the police department with reports of its investigation into Johnson’s driver and drinking companion as well as the officers who found Johnson impaired but let him go on his way.

 Police brass have until the end of July to respond to those findings.

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