The U.S. Supreme Court says policemen cannot be forced to give statements that waive their 5th Amendment rights – not that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cares about what the Supreme Court says. He’s going after Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo’s constitutional rights and if he doesn’t surrender his 5th Amendment right, he will be fired from his job.
Because Rahm wants to appease Black Lives Matter and the city’s social justice set.
Because Rahm is desperate to win a third term as Chicago’s Mayor and throwing a police officer to the wolves might be the way to do that.
That’s why Officer Rialmo is fighting back with a GoFundMe campaign.
The controversy began on December 2015, when Rialmo, 27, a former Marine, who saw combat in Afghanistan, was responding to a domestic disturbance call in Austin, one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods. LeGrier, 19, who was out on bond on a pending felony aggravated battery indictment, charged at Rialmo, swinging a bat. Fearing for his life, after ordering LeGrier to drop the bat, Rialmo drew and fired his weapon and killed LeGrier. One of the bullets that hit LeGrier went through him and struck and accidentally killed Bettie Jones, 55, who was standing behind LeGrier.
The City of Chicago filed a counter-suit against LeGrier’s estate for the wrongful death of Bettie Jones in December but dropped it after the Chicago Sun-Times attacked the plan in a cover story. The counter-suit is telling; it means the City of Chicago’s Law Department faulted LeGrier – not Rialmo – for the death of Bettie Jones and now they are too afraid to say it publicly.
Even though Rialmo is not facing any criminal charges in the shootings, he has been reassigned to desk duty and has been fighting to keep his job since 2015. The situation has only gotten worse after CPD Chief Eddie Johnson publicly sided with Rialmo.
Back in April, the Rahm-controlled Civilian Office of Policy Accountability (COPA) issued a Request for Interview with Rialmo regarding a misdemeanor charge filed against him by two drunks who threatened him at a neighborhood pizzeria - not a bar fight as some news outlets have reported. After the State’s Attorney determined there was no case against Rialmo, COPA directed the drunks to file charges anyway. Rialmo has asserted his 5th Amendment privilege and refused to answer COPA’s questions due to the upcoming trial on the frivolous misdemeanor charge.
Now COPA has, for a second time, issued a Request for Interview, requiring Rialmo to be interrogated about the misdemeanor case and if he asserts his 5th Amendment privilege again – he will be fired from his job as a Chicago Police Officer.
Rialmo’s trial in the misdemeanor case is scheduled for July 9th- 10th and COPA is refusing to wait 50 days to take the officer’s statement. In response to COPA's refusal, Rialmo’s attorney, Joel Brodsky filed an Emergency Motion for Order Preventing COPA from Compelling Officer Rialmo’s statement, arguing that it violates his constitutional rights. The matter has been continued to May 24th.
Rialmo also faces potential firing by the full Police Board. The nine-member Police Board includes eight Emanuel appointees. If Rialmo is fired, he would lose his $84,000 annual salary, his livelihood, and his career in public service would be ruined. He comes from a family of police and firefighters, and he wanted to be in public service his entire life.
Only in Rahm's Chicago.