Hours after Dorothy Holmes learned Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez wouldn’t charge a Chicago cop with murder for killing her son Ronald Johnson, she mentioned the officer’s two teenage children during a public protest.
“I love my kid just as well as he loves his 15-year-old and his 17-year-old,” Holmes said of officer George Hernandez on Dec. 8. “What goes around comes around. And he can take it how he wanna take it. If he wanna take it as a threat, it was a threat. And I ain’t backing down.”
That was enough for city attorneys to ask a federal judge to sanction Holmes, the mother of 25-year-old Johnson, who was shot to death while running from officers on Oct. 12, 2014.
“[Holmes] has threatened not only officer Hernandez, but also his minor children,” says a motion filed Dec. 10. “She is inciting violence against them. And she has also made clear that she does not intend to stop.”
Additionally, lawyers for Hernandez claim Holmes took a picture of the officer during a deposition Nov. 19, then posted it on Facebook and Twitter, calling him a “terrorist.” She also used the picture on a poster at protests that read “Murderer!” along with what appeared to be a bloody handprint, the filing says.
An exhibit shows a picture of Hernandez that reads “George Hernandez, the CPD terrorist who murdered Ronnieman. Justice will be served one day Ins [sic] #JusticeForRonnieMan.”
A video of Johnson’s death shows a foot chase that ended in the muzzle flashes of Hernandez’s gun. Johnson was shot twice in the back. Alvarez played the video during a news conference on Dec. 7 to help explain why she decided not to charge Hernandez with a crime. She said the video shows Johnson with a gun in his hand, a claim his family has long disputed. Alvarez also said a bullet matching the type that came from the loaded gun was found in the vehicle that Johnson had been riding in moments before the shooting happened.
Johnson’s shooting happened just eight days before Laquan McDonald was shot to death by a Chicago Police officer. The outcry over McDonald’s death helped bring attention to Johnson’s death and the dashcam video.
Michael Oppenheimer, who is representing Holmes in a federal civil rights suit against the city, said Tuesday that Holmes’ comments about Hernandez had already been addressed in federal court.
Oppenheimer told the judge he admonished his client and told the judge she would no longer be speaking out about Hernandez. No sanctions were granted, he said.
Oppenheimer defended his client’s words, which he said were spoken just after learning that no criminal charges would be filed against Hernandez.
“Any comments she made were not meant in a threatening manner. This was a comment made 24 hours after Anita Alvarez … decided not to press charges. My client was clearly upset and distraught at the result of the shoddy investigation,” Oppenheimer said, adding “her son was taken from her. She’s not going to harm anyone’s children.”
Holmes will next appear for a hearing on the matter on Jan. 6.