Former Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson is a complete trainwreck that has managed to get seven officers suspended and himself sued for sexual harassment in just one week. Last week was the culmination of a year's long downward spiral that began with him being found passed out drunk behind the wheel of his CPD issued SUV last October.
Johnson originally blamed the incident on a medical issue and ordered an internal investigation thinking that his subordinates would probably rubber stamp whatever he said. Unfortunately for Johnson, the city's inspector general investigated the incident, found out that he had been drinking heavily at a local bar with a female subordinate, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired him in December. Lightfoot's stated reasons for firing him included conduct unbecoming and lying to her personally. Somehow Johnson was still allowed to officially retire a few weeks later despite being officially fired. By being allowed to retire he will most likely receive a full pension and other benefits that former officers that retire in good standing are entitle to.
The new CPD Superintendent David Brown suspended seven officers this past week for helping cover up Johnson's drinking last year. The suspended officers include two probationary officers, two patrol officers, one sergeant, one lieutenant and one commander believed to be Don J. Jerome. Their suspensions range from one day to twenty eight days. These suspensions are just slaps on their wrists in our opinion. It tells the CPD that they should still hold their own to a different standard than the rest of society because all they have to worry about are minor suspensions. Minor suspensions are a small price to pay for supporting a system that keeps them above the law for the most part. The inspector general didn't even name the officers in their report, but they did say that one of them had consumed a large amount of rum with Johnson at a bar before he was found passed out behind the wheel. That officer was Cynthia Donald according to a lawsuit filed by Donald last week.
Officer Cynthia Donald is suing Johnson for sexual misconduct stemming from their inappropriate relationship according to CNN (https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/16/us/chicago-police-veteran-civil-suit-former-superintendent-eddie-johnson/). Donald claims that Johnson structured her schedule so that he would always have easy access to her, sent her nude photos of himself, compelled her to send him nude photos of herself, and conditioned her advancement within the CPD on her engaging in unwanted sexual acts. Donald claims that the old boy network within the CPD is also to blame for enabling Johnson and that culture needs to change. She says that at lease six other officers were aware of their relationship, but did nothing to intervene.
As much as we want to believe Donald, we have not seen any evidence indicating that this was nothing more than a consensual relationship that got exposed. The timing of their relationship getting exposed and the lawsuit are suspicious. It creates the appearance of a woman that got exposed and is now doing damage control. Whenever a woman is forced to choose between looking like the office skank and turning herself into a victim, she will almost always chose the latter. We believe her that the relationship was inappropriate, that he sent her nudes, convinced her to send him nudes, and engaged in sexual activity. All of those things are inappropriate and not conduct becoming of an employer in any workplace, but we think that had things been as bad as she says that she would not have waited until after she was caught drinking with the boss to call herself a victim.
This case provides a glimpse into the culture that exists in American police departments. It is a culture that puts police officers above the law and proves the illegitimacy of the law enforcement establishment. As long as police officers only choose to enforce the laws on those that do not belong to their club then they have not legitimate claim of authority to force laws on anyone.