A randomly chosen member of the Chicago Police Board will decide if an officer will face potential firing for a controversial 2015 shooting that killed a teenager who carried a baseball bat and an innocent bystander.
The referral of the case to a single mayoral appointee stems from an intractable dispute between police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and officer disciplinary authorities at the Civilian Office of Police Accountability over Officer Robert Rialmo’s shooting of Quintonio LeGrier, 19, and bystander Bettie Jones, 55. In December, COPA ruled the shooting unjustified and recommended that Rialmo be fired. But on March 22, Johnson sent a letter to COPA arguing the shooting was justified, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The superintendent and COPA failed to reach any agreement in recent weeks, so the case was referred to the Police Board on Wednesday afternoon and assigned to a member chosen at random, according to a statement issued by the board Thursday morning.
The undisclosed member of the board will guide the result of one of the most divisive police disciplinary cases in recent memory. The board member can either accept the superintendent's position, ending the case, or side with the disciplinary agency and send the matter to the full Police Board to consider Rialmo's firing.