Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson resigned Thursday with City Mayor Lori Lightfoot at his side after a month of controversy, one with President Donald Trump.
“It’s time for these four stars to be placed on someone else’s shoulders,” Johnson said in an appearance at the mayor’s press office.
Johnson, 60, with 31 years of service with the Chicago Police Department, justified his resignation on the need to take care of his health and spend more time with his family.
The job he took as superintendent in April 2016 “has taken its toll on my health, my family and my friends,” he said.
The resignation comes before the outcome of the investigation opened after the former superintendent was found lying and dozing on the steering wheel of his Chevy Tahoe parked in a Chicago neighborhood on Oct. 17.
Johnson first claimed that a change in his medication had caused him discomfort, but later confirmed to Mayor Lightfoot that he had had “a couple of drinks” at a celebration with his friends.
Previously, on October 9, Ferguson had been embroiled in controversy after releasing a report that concluded that 16 police officers had created “a false narrative “to cover up the death of Laquan McDonald by policeman Jason Van Dyke in 2014.
The report noted that Johnson, who was then deputy chief of patrol, had been present at a high command meeting where those present had reviewed the video of the young African-American’s death.
African Americans in the city criticized Johnson for not raising his voice, but the police chief replied that at the time he had no power to do anything.
As if that wasn’t enough, on October 28 President Trump criticized Johnson for not attending an international convention of chiefs of police in Chicago.
“There is one person who is not here today,” “this person should be here because maybe he could learn something,” Trump said in reference to Johnson.
Trump said the 561 homicides committed in Chicago over the past year make “Afghanistan safe by comparison.
“I wish him nothing but the best for him and his family,” Mayor Lightfoot said today to Johnson, whom she asked to remain in office until the end of the year as the city seeks his replacement.
Johnson was named police superintendent in April 2016 by then-mayor Rahm Emanuel and served three and a half years in this high-visibility position until today.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Johnson is “a true son of Chicago, who grew up in housing and public schools to become one of the most dedicated public servants.