Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown punished five officers accused of engaging in a widespread cover-up to protect then-Superintendent Eddie Johnson and conceal the circumstances surrounding the drinking-and-driving incident that got Johnson fired, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The harshest penalty — a 28-day suspension — goes to District Commander Don Jerome, whose district includes the block where Johnson was found slumped over in his police SUV on Oct. 17, 2019 after dismissing his driver and trying to drive home.
Four other officers who responded to the scene received lesser suspensions. The most severe of those penalties — a 21-day suspension — was reserved for a lieutenant, the next-highest-ranking officer involved. They are all accused of giving their boss a pass by failing to administer a field sobriety test that would have been required of any other impaired motorist, giving Johnson a police escort home and watching the superintendent violate traffic laws on the way home without issuing a citation. One officer facing disciplinary action is believed to be the woman Johnson promoted to his security detail shortly after becoming the city’s top cop. The woman spent three hours drinking with Johnson on the night of the incident. Sources said Brown’s decision to administer progressive discipline is aimed at sending a message: When you’re in a position of authority, “You’ve got to do the right thing, no matter what.”