There’s only one kind of cop Mayor Rahm Emanuel seems to like: a dead one. It’s easier for Rahm that way; he goes to the funeral, calls the dead cop “a hero” and gives the widow a hug. There are no angry marches in front of Chicago’s City Hall or violent calls for him to resign.
But, if you are a Chicago cop who defends himself from deadly force, watch out because Rahm is more than happy to throw you under the bus to appease the social justice warriors.
Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo is learning that lesson the hard way.
On December 26, 2015, Officer Rialmo, 27, a former Marine, was attacked while answering a domestic disturbance call in Austin, one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Quintonio LeGrier, 19, a man with a history of mental illness charged at him, swinging a bat. Fearing for his life, Rialmo fired his weapon and killed LeGrier. Tragically, one of the bullets that hit LeGrier went through him and struck and accidentally killed Bettie Jones, 55, who was standing behind LeGrier.
Unfortunately, for Officer Rialmo, the LeGrier case was the first officer-involved shooting after the controversial shooting of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke. Worried about his re-election, Rahm fought to keep the police dash-cam video from the McDonald shooting hidden from the public. A $5 million settlement to McDonald’s family was quietly approved by the Chicago City Council to keep the incident hush-hush.
This is what passes for law and order in Chicago. It is also why Rahm is willing to throw Officer Rialmo under the bus.
Last December, Rahm ordered the City of Chicago to drop its plan to sue LeGrier’s estate for Bettie Jones’ wrongful death after the left-leaning Chicago Sun-Times attacked the plan in a cover story. Rahm even held a press conference and publicly apologized to LeGrier’s father.
Now Officer Rialmo is fighting back.
To stop a payoff to the LeGrier family, like the $5 million in hush money paid in the McDonald case, Officer Rialmo has filed a counterclaim against the LeGrier estate. Pressured by the City of Chicago to drop the counterclaim, he fired the lawyers the city hired for him and got his own lawyer, which has made Mayor Rahm Emanuel very angry.
Even though Rialmo is not facing any criminal charges in the shootings, he has been reassigned to desk duty and the CPD is being pressured by community activists to fire him. If Rialmo is fired, he would lose his $84,000 annual salary and his livelihood.
Officer Rialmo has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to pay for his attorney fees and to beat false and politically motivated charges against him.
Rahm Emanuel is up for re-election again in 2019 and that means making sure Chicago doesn’t become the next Ferguson. It means not reminding Chicago voters that he covered-up the Laquan McDonald video to make sure he was re-elected in 2015. It means Rahm must prove he’s on the side of Black Lives Matter and against the police.
It means ruining the lives of innocent police officers like Officer Robert Rialmo.
William J. Kelly is an American producer, television and radio host, commentator, media strategist, and critic. In 1994, he ran for U.S. Congress. In 2015, he made waves when he busted the campaign finance caps in the Chicago mayor’s race. He is the founder of RevDigital, an Emmy award-winning TV and documentary production house. Kelly is a frequent contributor to The Washington Times, American Spectator, and others. He is the midday host of "The Citizen Kelly Show" on AM 1590, Chicago. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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