There’s only one kind of cop Mayor Rahm Emanuel seems to like: a dead one. It’s easier for Rahm that way; he goes to the funeral, calls the dead cop “a hero” and gives the widow a hug. There are no violent marches in front of Chicago’s City Hall or angry calls for him to resign.
But, if you are a Chicago cop who defends himself from deadly force, watch out because Rahm is more than happy to throw you under the bus to appease the social justice warriors.
Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo is learning that lesson the hard way.
On December 26, 2015, Officer Rialmo, 27, a former Marine, who saw combat in Afganistan, was attacked while answering a domestic disturbance call in Austin, one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Quintonio LeGrier, 19, a man with an arrest record for assault, and resisting arrest, and who was out on bond on a pending felony aggravated battery indictment, charged at him, swinging a bat. Fearing for his life, after ordering LeGrier to drop the bat, Rialmo drew and fired his weapon and killed LeGrier. Tragically, one of the bullets that hit LeGrier went through him and struck and accidentally killed Bettie Jones, 55, who was standing behind LeGrier.
Unfortunately, for Officer Rialmo, the LeGrier case was the first officer-involved shooting after the controversial shooting of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke. Worried about his re-election, Rahm fought to keep the police dash-cam video from the McDonald shooting hidden from the public. A $5 million “settlement” to McDonald’s family was quietly approved by the Chicago City Council to keep the incident hush-hush before a lawsuit was even filed.
This is what passes for law and order in Chicago. It is also why Rahm is willing to throw Officer Rialmo under the bus.
Last December, Rahm ordered the City of Chicago to drop its plan to counter-sue LeGrier’s estate for Bettie Jones’ for the wrongful death of Bettie Jones, after the left-leaning Chicago Sun-Times attacked the plan in a cover story. Rahm even held a press conference and publicly apologized to LeGrier’s father, the father of the man who caused the death of Bettie Jones.
Now Officer Rialmo is fighting back.
To stop a payoff to the LeGrier family, like the $5 million in hush money paid in the McDonald case, Officer Rialmo has filed a counterclaim against the LeGrier estate. Pressured by the City of Chicago to drop the counterclaim, he fired the lawyers the city hired for him and got his own lawyer, which has made Mayor Rahm Emanuel very angry.
Even though Rialmo is not facing any criminal charges in the shootings, he has been reassigned to desk duty and the CPD is being pressured by community activists to fire him. If Rialmo is fired, he would lose his $84,000 annual salary, his livelihood, and his career in public service would be ruined. Rialmo comes from a family of police and firefighters, and he wanted to be in public service his entire life.
Then last December, the former Marine was forced to defend himself in a bar when two drunks tried to take his coat and threatened him if he tried to stop them. Three weeks later, after the State's Attorney determined there was no case, the Rahm-controlled Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) directed the drunks to file misdemeanor charges. The matter is still under investigation.
Officer Rialmo has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to pay for his attorney and investigators fees and to beat false and politically motivated charges against him and to defend himself in the civil suit
Rahm Emanuel is up for re-election again in 2019 and that means making sure Chicago doesn’t become the next Ferguson. It means not reminding Chicago voters that he covered-up the Laquan McDonald video to make sure he was re-elected in 2015. It means Rahm must prove he’s on the side of Black Lives Matter and against the police.
It means ruining the lives of innocent police officers like Officer Robert Rialmo.