CHICAGO — WGN Investigates has new information in the October incident that eventually led to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s firing.
The city’s inspector general has interviewed several key police officials.
When officers responded to the call of person slumped over the wheel at a stop sign after midnight on October 17, they were wearing body cameras.
A source who has seen the video said body-cam footage shows them walking-up to the unmarked vehicle. Its engine was running.
They observed a man inside with his head back against a headrest asleep.
After a knock on the window, the man woke up and lowered his window.
The body cam video showed officers asking for identification, apparently not realizing it was the city’s top cop behind the wheel.
The source said Johnson then showed the officers his wallet, which included his police credentials visible.
They asked him if he needed help and the superintendent said no. The officers stepped back and Johnson drove off.
The sources said the entire encounter lasted less than two minutes.
Later that day, Johnson said he “ordered the Bureau of Internal Affairs to conduct an investigation, just to be transparent.” But his plan to keep the investigation in-house didn’t last long. The city’s inspector general quickly took over.
Several key officials were interviewed in the weeks that followed, including the police spokesman who put out the public statement that said Johnson showed no-signs of impairment. He told investigators he was simply relaying what the superintendent told him.
Details learned this week revealed Johnson was reportedly drinking earlier that day at a bar in the Loop with a female police officer who, until early November, had been Johnson’s driver.
A source told WGN Investigates, the woman went on medical leave shortly after the October incident.
The Chicago Tribune reports the Inspector General has obtained video of the two there for several hours. The IG can also access GPS data from Johnson’s city-owned Chevy Tahoe to track his movements.
In a statement Tuesday, Johnson admitted making mistakes but insists he didn’t lie to the mayor or the public.
As for the IG’s report, investigators are reportedly still gathering information and interviews. It could be several weeks before it’s finished.