The City Has Released A Video Of Former Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson Asleep In His SUV

Eddie Johnson in Car
City of Chicago
Eddie Johnson in Car
City of Chicago

The City Has Released A Video Of Former Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson Asleep In His SUV

The city of Chicago on Monday released audio, video and documents related to the drinking-and-driving scandal that led to former police Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s termination. But the city still hasn’t released the results of an eight-month investigation.

There’s not much to see in the body camera video released of the October 2019 police response to calls of a man asleep behind the wheel in the Bridgeport neighborhood. They found Johnson in his SUV at a stop sign near his home.

An officer approaches the car. “Sir” he says as he taps on the window. “Sir.”

The officer asks for identification and Johnson appears to show his police badge.

“You’re just sitting here or you want to go home?” the officer asks.

Johnson said he’s good and the officer wishes him a good night and leaves without giving the police superintendent a sobriety test.

Johnson initially said he was drowsy because he mixed up his blood pressure medication. But in December, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Johnson, saying Johnson lied to her and that an Inspector General investigation showed that he “intentionally misled the public.”

Kathleen Fieweger,a spokeswoman with the city’s law department, said on Monday that the Inspector General investigation has concluded, and therefore the city decided to release the records. However, she said the city was not required to release the findings of the investigation.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Johnson and a female officer on his security team had been drinking for hours at a downtown restaurant and that a security video shows them repeatedly kissing. He was found in his car hours later.

Johnson, dismissed just weeks before his scheduled retirement, issued a statement that said he “respects” Lightfoot’s decision to boot him after more than three decades with the Police Department.

“I acknowledge that I made a poor decision and had a lapse of judgement,” Johnson said in the statement, not specifying the decision to which he was referring.

The statement left many questions unanswered and, while the tone was apologetic, he never apologized.

Patrick Smith is a reporter on WBEZ’s Criminal Justice Desk. Follow him @pksmid. Email him at psmith@wbez.org.