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Rialmo set to face trial next week for December fight in NW Side restaurant

Chicago police officer Robert Rialmo, the officer who shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones in December 2015, leaves court at the Daley Center on June 19, 2018. | Max Herman/For the Sun-Times

Though one of the charges against him will be dropped, embattled Chicago Police officer Robert Rialmo is set to go on trial this week over his role in a December 2017 fight at a Northwest Side restaurant.

Rialmo, 29, still faces two counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from a fight at at Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria on Dec. 17, 2017.

The fight, which shows Rialmo knocking two other men to the ground in a flurry of punches, was captured on video.

Note: Incident begins at 1:36 mark in top-right corner of video.

The trial is expected to commence Monday and last through Tuesday, according to Rialmo’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, who set up a GoFundMe account to help cover Rialmo’s legal bills. To date, Brodsky has raised more than $19,000.

Rialmo turned himself into police at the 1st District station in the South Loop last January. He was charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor theft. Last Thursday, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had decided to drop the theft charge.

Chicago Police officer Robert Rialmo’s mugshot after he was arrested in January. | Chicago Police photo

Though the trial is set for this week, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability — the city’s police oversight agency — has yet to conclude its investigation of the fight or make any disciplinary recommendations to Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.

Last week, a Cook County jury said, in effect, that Rialmo was justified when he opened fire on 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier. Bettie Jones, who lived in the same building as LeGrier’s father and opened the front door for Rialmo, was also fatally struck by an errant bullet. Her estate settled with the city for $16 million last month.

COPA said that Rialmo was not justified in the shooting and that Johnson should recommend that the Chicago Police Board fire him. Johnson disagreed, saying that Rialmo was within department policy when he shot at LeGrier.

The impasse was referred to a single member of the board, who then opted that the case be heard before the full board, which is still weighing potential discipline against Rialmo.