Fundraiser for cop who shot and killed LeGrier, Jones sparks controversy

There is growing backlash over a fundraiser for the Chicago police officer who shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones.

The fundraiser was organized by an officer in the Harrison District where Robert Rialmo once worked.

On Friday night, dozens of people pack into the Chicago Police Union for a fundraiser for Officer Robert Rialmo – who is on unpaid leave since the December 2015 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones during a domestic incident.

LeGrier wielded a bat, causing Rialmo to say he feared for his life. Jones was a bystander.

“The FOP, once again they're stepping on the community at large,” said Tio Hardiman of Violence Interrupters, Inc.

Called a "10-1 Benefit," it uses the police code for an officer in distress, asking a $20 donation and offers raffle prizes of two guns and an iPad.

“This is an outrage. We take it as disrespect. We hold all of Chicago accountable to raising their voice against this issue,” said Tyrone Muhammad of Ex-cons for Community and Social Change.

Activists were calling event tone deaf.

“We're fine with the way they raffle their guns, but we're not fine with the way they billed the event,” said Bishop Gregg L. Greer of Freedom First International.

When Rialmo’s former attorney was asked if he sees a problem with the fundraiser, he said no.

“What they’re doing is they're raffling off something that the people who attending use in the course of their job,” said Joel Brodsky.

Brodsky says Rialmo is a sacrificial lamb and was vindicated by Superintendent Eddie Johnson's disagreement with a COPA decision to fire him – which is a matter before the police board now.

But as to the fundraiser, an attendee says this.

“It doesn't sound right does it? But then again, I guess they wanted to get some money and people collect guns,” said former FOP Board Member Vic Rini.

Reached over the phone, FOP President Kevin Graham had little comment, saying he was told about the event Thursday night.