Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Foxx rejects call for special prosecutor in fatal shooting of 2 by Chicago cop

Thursday, January 04, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Gregory Pratt

Several black political and religious leaders called on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Thursday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the fatal 2015 police shooting of a baseball bat-clutching teen and an innocent bystander.

But Foxx’s office quickly rejected the idea, reiterating in a statement that her office had already reviewed the evidence last February and “concluded there was insufficient evidence for criminal charges.”

Meanwhile, a letter obtained by the Tribune shows that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability had recommended that Officer Robert Rialmo be fired “for his unjustified use of deadly force.” The news that COPA had ruled the shooting unjustified emerged late last week, but COPA had not revealed its recommendation to fire Rialmo.

“COPA believes that this is a fair and reasonable result based on the totality of the circumstances,” Andrea Kersten, COPA’s deputy chief administrator, wrote police Superintendent Eddie Johnson in the letter.

At Thursday’s news conference in the County Building, the community leaders also called on Johnson to fire Rialmo over the fatal shooting of Quintonio LeGrier, 19, and Bettie Jones, 55, while responding to an early morning domestic disturbance on the West Side the day after Christmas in 2015.

In pressing for the firing and the appointment of a special prosecutor, the group, including Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, repeatedly cited COPA’s findings.

The decision by COPA came days after lawyers for the city of Chicago had abruptly backed off controversial plans to sue LeGrier’s estate.

LeGrier's mental health has been a key issue in the litigation that followed his death, and the city's aborted lawsuit said he failed to take medication to control an unspecified mental illness.

Jones, who lived downstairs at the address where LeGrier was staying with his father, answered the door when police responded to the 911 calls. LeGrier then came down the stairs with a baseball bat, according to an analysis released by Foxx's office in February.

The officers started to move backward onto the front landing as LeGrier came at them with the bat, prosecutors wrote. As Rialmo backed down the stairs, he fired eight times, hitting LeGrier six times, according to prosecutors. Jones, who stood behind the teen during the incident, was shot once in the chest, prosecutors wrote.

Rialmo has stipulated in court that he knew Jones was close by when he fired, though his attorney has said Rialmo was nonetheless justified in firing in self-defense.

COPA's investigation, though, cast doubt on Rialmo's version of events.

No one, including the other officer at the scene, corroborated Rialmo's account of LeGrier swinging the bat, investigators wrote. In fact, in his first statement to a detective, Rialmo did not say LeGrier swung the bat, according to COPA. Rialmo also gave differing accounts of where he was in comparison with LeGrier when the teen allegedly swung the bat, investigators wrote.

COPA’s ruling turned in part on investigators' determination that the evidence indicated that LeGrier did not swing the bat at Rialmo, as the officer has said. Investigators also found that the evidence — including shell casings, witness statements and forensic analysis — also suggested Rialmo was farther away from LeGrier when he fired than the officer has said.

LeGrier fell in the vestibule of an apartment building, and Rialmo said he opened fire from the building's front porch, but investigators determined it was more likely the officer was between the bottom of the porch and the sidewalk out front.

Rialmo’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, has said COPA focused on "totally insignificant" discrepancies.

The shooting attracted wide attention because of the bystander's death and because it was the first fatal police shooting after the court-ordered release of video of an officer shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times a few weeks earlier. That video outraged Chicagoans, many of them black, who aired decades’ worth of objections about their treatment by police.

Foxx beat incumbent Anita Alvarez largely due to outrage over the state’s attorney’s handling of the shooting, though Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. He awaits trial.

As part of her campaign, Foxx called for every police-involved shooting to be investigated by a special prosecutor, but she distanced herself from that pledge after taking office.

At the news conference Thursday, the Rev. Marshall Hatch, a pastor who knows the Jones family, said the issue with Rialmo was “not complicated.”

“COPA found that he discharged his weapon unjustifiably,” said Hatch, who heads the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church on the West Side. “Two people are dead.”

Hatch, who also supported a special prosecutor, called Rialmo’s continued employment “an insult” to both families.

“There’s been no consequence,” Hatch said. “The least we can expect is for Superintendent Johnson to take the report of COPA and fire Rialmo.”

gpratt@chicagotribune.com



Recent Headlines

Elevating Evanston Youth
Monday, February 24, 2020
Northwestern

$14 million settlement proposed in lawsuit over Cook County inmates masturbating in front of female public defenders
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

The correct response to violent crime? Believe it or not, we're seeing it in Cook County.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

For The First Time In More Than A Decade, The Waitlist For Suburban Public Housing Is Opening
Friday, February 21, 2020
WBEZ News

Flashback: Cook County Hospital was home to big egos, surgical drama and stalwarts who found purpose in treating the poor
Friday, February 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Can courts do more to force FOID card violators to give up their guns?
Monday, February 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Keep the Cook County Health board independent
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Park Ridge looks to move 911 dispatching services to Cook County call center
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A report’s flaws suggest: Cook County bail reforms may have endangered the public
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Offering rehab instead of jail time, ‘Drug Court’ gives some a second chance
Thursday, February 13, 2020
WGN News

Preckwinkle aide barred from her offices after sexual harassment incident
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

New outreach group combating Cook County’s opioid crisis by offering treatment, hope
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
WGN News

Evanston Officials Eye County Grant for Construction of New Animal Shelter
Monday, February 10, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

CTA to spend $38 million studying Red Line extension
Monday, February 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

In Illinois — the Prairie State — little prairie land remains. But work is being done to save what’s left in Cook County and restore more.
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Brookfield Zoo chief heads for the exits
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Suspect in weekend killing of Cook County inmate accused of beating another detainee in November attack captured on video
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Tribune

MacArthur grants Cook County another $2.5 million for criminal justice reform
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Property tax hikes won’t be that bad, new report says
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

MacArthur Foundation donates $2.5 million to Cook County Criminal Courts
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP