Rahm Emanuel: Eddie Johnson Is Chicago’s Interim Police Chief
Rahm Emanuel and Eddie Johnson will be working together to heal a community. In a statement, Mayor Emanuel surprised many by revealing that he will ignore the recommendations made by the police board and has instead selected Johnson as the head of the Chicago Police Department.
Well, that was fast – Rahm Emanuel has picked Eddie Johnson as Chicago’s Interim Police Chief – he will, therefore, command 10,000 of the department’s 13,000-strong force.
In less than three hours after news leaked in Illinois that Mayor Emanuel had no plans to consider the three candidates the police board had recommended, it has been confirmed that Johnson was picked “to boost police morale and restore community trust.”
Johnson, a 27-year CPD veteran, the current chief of patrol did not apply for the post. The Democratic mayor has been facing public anger since November, when Jason Van Dyke, a white officer, was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager.
The public release of a video footage of the shooting, which was originally kept secret, sparked outrage, protests, and prompted many to demand the resignation of Emanuel. An investigation into the matter led to the firing of Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy. Kelley Quinn, a spokeswoman for Emanuel, said in a statement that he had spent more than three months researching the hiring decision, and added:
“The mayor’s choice for the next superintendent will be one of the most important decisions he makes.”
As to why Emanuel rejected the three finalists, the spokeswoman stated:
“While each of the finalists had strong qualifications, the mayor did not feel that any of them were the complete package that Chicago needs at this time and thus none were offered the position. The mayor called each of them individually late Saturday to let them know of his decision.”
Lori Lightfoot, the panel’s president, said she has not spoken to anyone in the mayor’s office, and went on to say:
“The board will be taking no action until it receives such notification.”
Many, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, have voiced their disapproval of Emanuel’s decision. Jackson stated:
“It creates a zone of mystery because the search committee was appointed by him, and he circumvented his process.”
What are your thoughts on Rahm Emanuel and the selection of Eddie Johnson?