Chicago’s new police superintendent: Due diligence be damned

Eddie Johnson may be well qualified to be Chicago police superintendent. Then again, maybe he’s not. We don’t know.

When Mayor Rahm Emanuel rammed Johnson’s appointment through the City Council Wednesday, the byword was due diligence be damned.

Neither the mayor nor any alderperson bothered to inquire about alleged police brutality that occurred under Johnson when he was commander of the South Side Gresham district between 2008 and 2012.

The rush job fits Emanuel’s pattern of hiring without vetting.

You might have thought the mayor would have learned something from his previous bad hires, but no.

Those include:

  • Johnson’s predecessor, Garry McCarthy, who has hired as Chicago’s top cop despite a documented pattern or civil rights violations and lack of internal discipline under his leadership at the Newark Police Department.




  • Amer Ahmad, who was hired as city controller while under federal investigation for a kickback scheme as the deputy treasurer of Ohio.
  • Barbara Byrd-Bennett who as CEO of Chicago Public Schools was a conspirator in a multi-million-dollar kickback scheme to which she has pleaded guilty.

Whether 15 federal lawsuits against officers who worked under Johnson in the Gresham district is cause for concern about his supervisory competence is an open question.

But Emanuel and the City Council should have looked into what Johnson knew when about the underlying misconduct and what, if anything, he did to stop or minimize it.

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Rob Warden is co-director of Injustice Watch.

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