This week, a Chicago jury found that Officer Robert Rialmo acted reasonably when he shot a bat-wielding Quintonio LeGrier 2015 and logic and reason returned to the City of Chicago - at least for the moment.
Despite the jury's ruling in his favor and against the LeGrier estate, it isn't over for Rialmo. That's why Rialmo is fighting back with a GoFundMe campaign.
For the last two years, few stood up publicly to defend Rialmo after the fatal shooting of LeGrier, 19, who was out on bond pending felony aggravated battery indictment when he attacked Rialmo and his partner in December 2015. Among them, the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and his fellow officers have stood by Rialmo.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson took heat for his determination that Rialmo was “justified” in the killing of Quintonio LeGrier. In late March, Johnson rejected the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s recommendation for firing Rialmo, saying “Officer Rialmo’s actions were justified and within department policy” when he shot LeGrier.
Worried about the political fallout, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was against Rialmo and still is. Behind-the-scenes, Emanuel is pushing for Rialmo to be fired from his job as a Chicago Police officer. Rialmo has been reassigned to desk duty. If the full Police Board rules against him, he will lose his $84,000 annual salary and his career as a police officer will end.
The Chicago media have vilified Rialmo at every turn, posting smiling photos of LeGrier at his prom or playing basketball - but none of his mug shots. LeGrier's violent record of arrest is extensive but the media never released LeGrier's criminal record to the public. They never made mention of it.
LeGrier was arrested by the DeKalb Police Department on January 15, 2015. He was arrested on March 1, 2015, and charged with resisting arrest, obstruction and attempting to disarm an officer. On March 2, 2015, he was again arrested for obstruction. LeGrier was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on May 6, 2015. On September 22, 2015, he was charged with disorderly conduct, assault, and resisting/obstructing an officer.
Even with the ruling in his favor, the media are questioning the verdict.
Rialmo is also battling misdemeanor charges after two drunks stole his coat and threatened him in a neighborhood pizza restaurant - not a bar as the Chicago media reported. The charges were filed three weeks after the State’s Attorney determined there was no case.
The jury also held that LeGrier's actions caused Rialmo emotional distress but awarded him no compensation.
In order to fight back, Rialmo established a GoFundMe account to pay his legal fees. Were it not for the GoFundMe campaign, Rialmo would go bankrupt paying legal fees and expenses.
Now that Rialmo is cleared, the media want to make sure he doesn't work, doesn't have a livelihood, can't show his face in public, and put Rialmo and his family in danger.
By Chicago media standards, Rialmo has committed the ultimate media sin: He's a Chicago cop who defended himself in the line of duty. Unlike Commander Paul Bauer who never drew his weapon and was murdered, Rialmo defended himself and deserves to be punished. What other way is there to process this?
If you believe in law and order and if you believe a police officer has the right to defend himself from a deadly attack, support Officer Rialmo and visit his GoFundMe page now.