City’s top cop touts 2017 achievements

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CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson called into question COPA’s entire investigatory process, arguing that the agency looked at the shooting with the luxury of hindsight, instead of analyzing Officer Robert Rialmo’s actions from his perspective in the moment. | Sun-Times file photo

At the end of a week in which the city signed off on a near-record settlement in a case involving allegations of police abuse, the city’s top cop Friday sidestepped questions about legal issues, saying he’s focused on tackling crime.

“I have to spend a lot of energy keeping this city safe and that’s what I concentrate on,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said, talking to reporters at police headquarters at 35th and Michigan.

Johnson noted that there have been about 100 fewer homicides in 2017 compared with this time last year, a 15 percent drop. And shootings are also down — 21 percent, he said.

Johnson attributed the decreases in those crime categories to the hiring of over 1,100 new officers this year, as well as a focus on “data-driven policing.”

“As a result, communities that were once under a cloud of gun violence are beginning to see signs of optimism and hope,” Johnson said.

He also noted that the department has distributed about 7,000 body cameras — to all officers on “regular beat patrol.”

“That’s a full year ahead of schedule,” he said.

But those developments come as the City Council authorized a $31 million settlement to four Englewood teenagers coerced into confessing to the rape and murder of a prostitute before being exonerated by DNA evidence.

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