Police union demands ‘clarification’ after LeGrier shooting ruled unjustified

SHARE Police union demands ‘clarification’ after LeGrier shooting ruled unjustified
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Last month, FOP President Kevin Graham asked for a meeting with Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to “clarify when and how police officers will be disciplined for using force.” | Sun-Times file photo

Leaders of the rank-and-file Chicago Police officers’ union on Friday slammed the city’s police oversight agency, demanding a “clarification” on use-of-force policies a day after Officer Robert Rialmo’s 2015 shooting of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones was ruled unjustified.

“If an offender is wielding a bat against an officer, must he or she wait until they are actually struck before they can defend themselves?” union officials wrote in a statement.

“Must they wait until they see a muzzle flash of a gun before any attempts to protect their lives and those of the public would be deemed reasonable? How far can the weapon be found from an offender before an officer’s use of force is deemed legitimate? Six feet? Ten feet? Fifteen?”

On Thursday, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability released findings of their probe into the shooting, saying Rialmo’s claims that the 19-year-old LeGrier ran at him while swinging a baseball bat was “inconsistent and ultimately unreliable.”

Jones, a bystander, was also killed in the gunfire.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has up to 90 days to review COPA’s report and make a recommendation on disciplining Rialmo.

RELATED: Mayor calls city decision to sue Quintonio LeGrier’s estate ‘callous’ Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations

Union officials blasted the report, insisting “the actions appear to fall clearly within the Use of Force guidelines,” and questioning “the particular skills and strategies of COPA investigators.”

“If COPA is empowered to make such clearly arbitrary and politicized rulings, then the FOP can only conclude that the City and its various agencies are not concerned about the safety and well-being of our officers and our citizens.”

City officials did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

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