Mayor fires police superintendent, Johnson

Two months after Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson is found asleep at the wheel of his SUV, Mayor Lightfoot fires him for ‘intolerable actions’

Photo Credit: WTTW

Chicago Magazine took an interesting look at the termination of police superintendent Eddie Johnson this week. Johnson who was found asleep at the wheel of his SUV in the Bridgeport neighborhood on October 16 of this year, claimed he had been out to dinner and had a couple of drinks. This led him to forget to take his blood pressure medication and subsequently end up asleep in his car.

Writer Kate Benot, the day after Johnson is fired by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, looks at the events that led to Johnson’s firing. She explores the connotations behind drinking at Cerese Cafe, the bar Johnson was at the night he was found sleeping behind the wheel of his car. Cerese, with its lack of natural lighting and heavily poured cocktails is a hangover in the making according to Benot.

Benot, calls attention to the fact that Johnson is said to have been drinking at the popular spot for a “few hours” to which she compares to tailgate keg stands, Chicago’s infamous TBOX bar crawl, or simply guzzling liquor directly from a hose. Benot establishes that most “cocktails” are actually a rocks pour of your chosen booze with an obligatory splash of mix, maybe.

Photo Credit: Block Club Chicago

So the thought that Johnson would be drinking there for hours and not be drunk is pretty sensational. Mayor Lightfoot must have agreed. After two months of allowing Johnson to believe she was going to allow him to finish out the year and quietly retire, she pulled the trigger and ended his career with the Chicago Police Department. Stating that Johnson’s actions were “intolerable for any leader in a position of trust.”

This interesting look through a liquor filled glass really solidifies the position of most Chicagoans to Johnson’s version of events, bullshit. Benot gives us a scenario, where Johnson’s position that he “had a couple of drinks” with dinner is simply an understatement at best.

My favorite line in Benot’s article is when she says, “When the news broke, anyone who’d ever drank at Ceres – or even heard of it – laughed hard enough to choke on a martini olive.”

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