CHICAGO (CBS) — City lawyers fought to have the Mayor and Police Superintendent’s video depositions sealed permanently, but a judge ordered they be released once a jury in the civil case was selected.
As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, one line of questioning had to do with the code of silence.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel sat for his multi-hour deposition in March, more than two years after Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo shot and killed 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and his neighbor, 55-year-old Bettie Jones.
A COPA (Civilian Office of Police Accountability) report, which states rules on police shootings, determined that the December 26, 2015 shooting was unjustified as to Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier.
When asked if he had ever reviewed the COPA report, Emanuel stated, “No. The short answer is no. You know there is a process. That process was a Chinese wall and anything that relates to a situation like this.”
The Mayor was deposed a week after Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who was Chief of Patrol at the time LeGrier was killed. Johnson acknowledged COPA.
“Whether it’s in compliance or justified or unjustified, yes,” Johnson stated, also saying he has not reviewed the entire file.
One week later, Johnson sent an 11 page letter disagreeing with COPA’s findings, arguing Rialmo shouldn’t be fired. The Mayor skirted the issue.
“I’m trying to be faithful to the purpose of having a Chinese wall, but especially given it’s not concluded,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel and Johnson also appeared at odds over the “code of silence.”
In December 2015, Rahm Emanuel said, “It is a tendency to deny. It is a tendency, in some cases, to cover up the bad actions of a colleague or colleagues.”
Supt. Eddie Johnson said, “In my personal experience, I have not ever heard anyone talking about a code of silence, trained on the code of silence, or even saying that they would participate in a code of silence.”
Johnson agreed on the importance of keeping officers at the scene of police-involved shootings separate so they cannot “corrupt their stories.”
A source close to the case told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov that the officers were not separated and were, in fact, placed in the same squad car.
Opening arguments are Monday.