Sneed exclusive . . .
Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo — who is still facing legal hurdles from the Chicago Police Board stemming from the shooting deaths of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones in 2015 — got an early 4th of July breather.
• Translation: Sneed has learned Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office decided to drop the theft charge lodged against Rialmo, a former U.S. Marine, stemming from a bar fight in a Northwest Side restaurant last December.
However, the two misdemeanor battery charges filed against Rialmo by two bar patrons are set for trial Monday before Judge Daniel Gallagher.
Joel Brodsky, Rialmo’s attorney, claims the whole reason for the confrontation between the men was over a coat. “Now that the theft charge stemming from the coat has been dropped, we feel our client was entitled to use reasonable force to stop someone from taking his coat!”
Recently, a jury of six men and six women unanimously agreed that when Rialmo shot LeGrier, he reasonably believed “that such force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or [his partner] Anthony LaPalermo.”
That finding effectively wiped out the $1.05 million in damages that the jury had awarded to the LeGrier estate just minutes earlier because, by finding that Rialmo was justified in the shooting, no damages could be awarded.
The Chicago police could still terminate or discipline Rialmo, who is now interested in joining the Chicago Fire Department.
The Pfleger plan . . .
It’s a go.
There’s been nary a “NO” from Cardinal Blase Cupich’s office at the Archdiocese of Chicago to stop the anti-violence protest parade Saturday morning.
And Sneed hears, it is not expected.
Cupich, who has been visiting family, has been out of town.
The peace protest, the brainchild of Catholic priest the Rev. Michael Pfleger — which threatens to shut down a portion of the Dan Ryan Expressway on Saturday — could be a test.
But these are two men who have tremendous respect for each other and firmly believe not only in protecting their flock, but becoming “one with their flock,” a belief advocated by Pope Francis.
Cupich is a frequent visitor at St. Sabina Church and events.
“I am so grateful for the cardinal’s willingness not to weigh in either way,” said Pfleger, who is now being joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and ministers from all over the city as well as the South and West sides of Chicago.
“Cardinal Cupich has been a strong and powerful voice to address the issue of violence in our city, and for that I am very grateful.”
He also added: “When the state police put out a press release saying they’d arrest everybody, we started getting calls from lawyers across the city saying they’d do pro bono legal help for everybody,” Pfleger told Sneed.
Pfleger claims he and the lawyers were all meeting to discuss the legal issues at St. Sabina Thursday night.
• Flight or fright plan: Northbound lanes of the expressway from 79th to 68th streets Saturday morning are expected to be used by protesters.
“Well, we’ve been marching in the neighborhoods for years and nothing has changed,” Pfleger added.
“So now we are now taking it to a main artery of the city.”
Lightfoot & labor?
• Harmony & grist: It’s no secret the mayoral battle is on for labor union endorsements. Sneed hears SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff and mayoral hopeful Lori Lightfoot have met twice to discuss what common ground they share and their blue-collar roots. (SEIU Local 1 is part of the investor group that owns the Sun-Times.)
The duo was spotted Friday at 312 eatery adjacent to City Hall, known to some as “The City Haul.”
• On the menu: Whaddya think? The SEIU’s drooling desire to unionize workers at O’Hare International Airport, and the need to expand the City Council’s 11-member Progressive Caucus.
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: Cubbies Anthony Rizzo, Jon Lester, Ian Happ and Brian Duensing spotted with their ladies Sunday night at Bub City. . . . Today’s birthdays: Kevin Hart, 39; George W. Bush, 72; and Dalai Lama, 83.