Chicago Police Board Holds Hearing on Rialmo’s Future With CPD
The hearing took the form of a trial, with opening arguments and witnesses – the first of which was Rialmo himself, as well as experts brought in to testify.
Rialmo has been on desk duty since late December 2015, when he fatally shot 19-year-old LeGrier and 55-year-old Jones while responding to a domestic disturbance call on the city’s West Side.
COPA found that Rialmo was “not justified” in using deadly force, with investigators saying in a report that they found “no evidence” to support his claim that the shots fired were necessary, calling his statements “inconsistent and ultimately unreliable.”
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson rejected COPA’s findings and declined to recommend Rialmo’s firing to the Chicago Police Board. In an initial hearing, a Chicago Police Board member ruled that a hearing before the full police board was necessary to determine Rialmo’s future on the force.
He remains on paid desk duty – though he was briefly returned to patrols through an administrative mistake in June 2016 – and has been stripped of his police powers.
Both LeGrier’s and Jones’ families filed wrongful death lawsuits against the city of Chicago and Rialmo, who counter-sued LeGrier’s family, claiming that he only fired because the teen lunged at him with a baseball bat. Rialmo later dropped that suit.
Jones’ family settled its suit with the city for $16 million, while a jury ruled in favor of the LeGrier family suit. The jury awarded more than $1 million in damages to LeGrier’s family, but the judge signed an order negating that payout because jurors said Rialmo was justified in opening fire.
Rialmo was not charged in the shooting, but was charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery over a bar fight in December 2017. Authorities said Rialmo got into a dispute over a jacket with two other people as the bar was closing, with prosecutors arguing that he made an unprovoked attack on the men, and his attorney claiming he was defending himself when he punched them in the face.
He was acquitted of those charges on July 10, 2018, and then involved in another bar fight on the Northwest Side just three days later.