CHICAGO (CBS)—The Chicago police officer at the center of a fatal police shooting was found not guilty Tuesday for his role in a 2017 bar fight.
Cook County Judge Daniel Gallagher cleared officer Robert Rialmo of beating two men in a Far Northwest Side tavern in December.
The incident occurred while Rialmo was on desk duty for the shooting of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and neighbor Bettie Jones, 55.
He was recently cleared in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by LeGrier’s family, but the Chicago Police Board has yet to determine if he should be fired for the fatal shooting.
Rialmo was charged in January with two counts of battery stemming from the bar fight at Moretti’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in the Edison Park neighborhood.
Bar surveillance footage aired in court shows Rialmo pushing one man into a table and chairs and knocking him to the floor. The man’s friend was then punched in the face, knocking him unconscious, according to the video footage and court testimony.
Rialmo’s lawyer, Joel Brodsky, argued the men were intoxicated and acting unreasonable when one took Rialmo’s jacket while the other grabbed at the officer.
Brodsky said Rialmo was defending himself and his property, and Rialmo reiterated that claim on the witness stand Tuesday.
After the verdict, Rialmo spoke to the media about his troubles.
“I’ve been put in some bad situations that many guys wouldn’t have gotten out of safely,” he said. “People have the wrong idea (of me) and I’m just glad this worked out.”