City releases bodycam video of former CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson found slumped behind the wheel

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CHICAGO — Officials released video and other materials Monday documenting an October 2019 incident where then- CPD superintendent Eddie Johnson was found asleep at the wheel. 

The incident led to Johnson’s firing.

It’s the first time the public’s seen what CPD brass and Mayor Lightfoot saw months ago.

Johnson was found asleep at the wheel of his department-issued black Chevy Tahoe in the early morning hours of October 17, 2019.

The beat officers responded to a 911 call from a passerby. The recording of that call was part of the material released Monday. The caller reported seeing the car on and exhaust coming from it.

The bodycam footage showed Johnson, with his eyes closed and head back on the seat, initially.

Officers asked if he was ok and if he had his ID. According to the video, it took Johnson 45 seconds to get his wallet.

The encounter lasted one minute, start to finish.  The officer never offered a field sobriety test.

Johnson then drove away.

Johnson initially said it was a medical issue and his top spokesperson issued a statement that he showed no signs of being impaired. 

But when the city’s inspector general took over the investigation, they found that Johnson had been drinking for several hours at a bar in the Loop with a woman who was his driver at the time.

A report filed October 19, two days after the incident, by the Chicago paramedics who came to the scene was labeled “high profile” and says that when they got to 34th and Aberdeen, Chicago police told them no patient on the scene.

That report was made available Monday as well.

Lightfoot, who initially had accepted Johnson’s version of events in October, fired Johnson weeks before his announced retirement. Lightfoot citied the IG’s report and said it “makes it clear,  that you engaged in conduct that was unbecoming, thereafter intentionally misled the public about your conduct  and lied to me directly through commission and omission about the same incident.”

As part of the material released Monday was Lightfoot’s letter to Johnson.

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