Police superintendent is right to demand all the facts

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Police Supt. Eddie Johnson spoke at a City Club lunch. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Give credit to Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson. It’s not surprising to those who know him that he deserves it.

After two years and several organizations have weighed in on the fate of Robert Rialmo in the shooting death of Quintonio LeGrier and one other innocent bystander, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability is asking that Rialmo be fired. Supt. Johnson is even being chided by family members to do just that.

However the superintendent happens to know a thing or two about rights and fair play. Cops are not above the law but they are certainly are not below it, either. The top cop is accusing COPA of playing “hide the ball” by not turning over the entire evidence file that COPA used to come to the conclusion in recommending the officer’s firing.

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In my 33 years of experience working the streets of Chicago and attending numerous court hearings, if the prosecution ever failed to turn over the entire evidence file against an accused it would be malfeasance and grounds for the case against the accused to be tossed. No matter the officer’s guilt or COPA’s findings, how in good conscience could he be given a fair review by the superintendent in this critical decision?

Robert Rialmo and his fate will someday be history and we will always be left with the question: Is COPA capable of a fair and impartial investigation, if it is one that does not present all the facts?t Johnson is testing that argument and in my opinion rightfully so.

Chicago’s cops simply don’t need another investigative arm whose very own accountability comes into question.

Bob Angone, Miramar Beach, Florida

Grievous damage

I couldn’t disagree with you more [“Kids playing tackle football? Your call, parents, not government’s,” Jan. 26]. The facts you present in this opinion piece clearly indicate children should not play tackle football. I understand that some people will lose their jobs and people will miss going to the games but the damage some children will suffer is grievous and should be legislated against. I can only hope the law passes.

Joanne Selden, Oak Park

Solutions exist

In these ultra-polarized times, it is especially heartening to find a few brave legislators who are still open to working with “the other side.” One of those is U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.

Last week (Jan. 26) Schakowsky joined the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, along with Republican Rep. Fred Upton from Michigan. They became the 34th Democrat and the 34th Republican to join this body, whose purpose is to “educate members on economically viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and public safety.” Two other Illinois Congressmen, Rodney Davis (R-IL13) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL03), were already members.

Denial of human-caused climate change is often rooted in fear of solutions. Sen. James Inhofe was famously quoted as saying of global warming, “I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.” But economically viable solutions do exist. A revenue-neutral carbon tax, with all proceeds returned to households as a monthly dividend, is one such policy.

Nature doesn’t care about us and our political preferences. The ice is melting now. I am very grateful to the 68 lawmakers in the Climate Solutions Caucus for doing the hard work of addressing this existential threat.

Terry Quain, co-leader,

Greater Naperville Area Chapter.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Ironic complaining

Does anyone else see the irony in the Chicago City Council complaining about the Chicago Archdiocese closing schools for lack of enrollment? Had the city not raised the real estate taxes to a level where few can now afford to fund both their taxes and a private education, maybe the Catholic schools would be flourishing. If the city is unwilling to roll back the real estate taxes, maybe they should allow school vouchers. That may solve the problem as well.

Bill Fanning, Vernon Hills

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