Mayor Emanuel gives deposition in controversial police shooting

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday answered questions about police practices. It surrounds the controversial police shooting of Quintonio Legrier and Bettie Jones.

Also today, police superintendent Eddie Johnson explained in detail why he believes the shooting was justified.

Legrier and Jones were shot and killed by officer Robert Rialmo in 2016. Rialmo was responding to a domestic disturbance call. Police said Legrier was coming toward Rialmo with a baseball bat, and Jones was an innocent bystander.

Attorneys for their families had planned to ask the mayor about the department's use-of-force policies and the alleged code of silence, but afterward, provided no details.

“At this point the court has not allowed us to speak about the content or substance of the deposition,” said attorney Larry Rogers Jr.

Rialmo's attorney said the mayor's answers contributed little to the question of whether the shootings were justified.

“Nothing about politics or city policy or who should be mayor, or whether a superintendent should resign should get involved in this,” said Rialmo’s attorney Joel Brodsky.    

Hours before the deposition, Jones’ cousin Evelyn Glover spoke out.

“We are saying please, Supt. Eddie Johnson, please think about your decision,” she said.

Relatives of the victims and community activists protested Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s conclusion outlined in an 11-page letter that officer Rialmo's actions were justified. 

“Many of us who supported Superintendent Johnson, we feel betrayed by him, by the decision that he has made,” said Reverend Ira Acree.    

The superintendent disagreed with the findings of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, saying that officer Rialmo was "...using deadly force to defend against an armed assailant who posed an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm..."

Officer Rialmo has been placed on desk duty. Prosecutors say there's insufficient evidence for criminal charges, and whether he's disciplined will ultimately be up to the police board.

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