Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson asked the city’s police department to conduct an internal investigation on himself Thursday after he was found lying down in a car.
A passerby found Johnson early Thursday in a car parked near a stop sign and called 911.
During a press conference late Thursday night, Johnson clarified his version of events.
Johnson said he pulled over because he failed to take his blood pressure medication. He said that he felt faint which prompted him to pull over and rest.
He added that he had been out with friends for dinner but began feeling lightheaded on his way home.
He admitted that the engine was still running when he passed out.
‘Out of abundance of caution, I pulled over to the side and stopped, even though I was relatively close to home. Someone called 911 and reported a person asleep at the stop sign,’ Johnson said during the conference.
‘Responding officers did come. They checked on me and confirmed that I could continue on my way. Also, that feeling that I was feeling had passed by that time.’
Emergency services responded to a 911 call and found Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, pictured, laying face down in a car
Johnson requested the investigation to hold himself to the ‘highest standard.’ He said he wants to show people that everything was above-board and happened as described. Those at the scene said that intoxication was not a factor
Johnson said that he sensed the faintness was coming.
‘So I pulled over, stopped, and just rested myself until that feeling passed. I fell asleep – because remember, guys, we worked a long day that day.’
He also admitted that he should have considered having a driver with him but he let his usual driver go home to look after his child who was off school due to teacher strikes.
Johnson also said that he had tried to speak to his cardiologist who had adjusted his medication for low blood pressure.
He added that he would need to take better care with keep taking his tablets properly.
Johnson said: ‘To avoid the appearance of impropriety and just have total transparency, I ordered the Bureau of Internal Affairs to conduct an internal investigation just to be transparent. As I’ve said before, every officer, regardless of rank, must uphold themselves to the highest of standards, and that includes me.’
When responding officers arrived at the scene, they did not give Johnson a Breathalyzer test. He defended the officers’ decision, saying that they are only supposed to test drivers if they look impaired or smell like alcohol or another illegal substance.
Police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement that Johnson indicated he parked his car after feeling lightheaded.
Officers checked on Johnson’s well-being and didn’t observe any signs of impairment.
Johnson drove himself to his home nearby.
‘There were no charges of intoxication, no information of intoxication as far as I know,’ Guglielmi said.
Guglielmi says Johnson requested the investigation because he believes officers and the superintendent ‘ought to be held to the highest standard.’
Johnson was in hospital in June when doctors found a blood-clot in his lung during a stress test. He also underwent kidney surgery in 2017 and has to take medication which could explain his excuse for feeling tired
‘So what that means is they’re going to interview the officers, they’re going to look at all available evidence just to make sure that this is above-board and happened as described,’ Guglielmi said.
The 59-year-old Johnson underwent kidney transplant surgery in August 2017. His son Daniel was the donor.
Guglielmi said Johnson visited a doctor earlier this week regarding a medication change.
He said the superintendent on Wednesday expressed concerns about feeling exhausted.
Guglielmi says Johnson visited a doctor Thursday to be evaluated on issues concerning his blood pressure.
Johnson was hospitalized in June after doctors found a small blood clot in his lung during a stress test done as Johnson approached the two-year anniversary of his transplant.
The clot was treated with medication and rest.
Johnson was appointed superintendent in March 2016 by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
His predecessor, Garry McCarthy, was fired days after the release of a video of the 2014 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by officer Jason Van Dyke.
Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder last year and is serving a nearly seven-year prison sentence.
- Putin calls for investigation of Russian doping allegations
- Cop: Shell casings in Hernandez car, at scene from same gun
- British parliament member calls for investigation into London Olympics
- A-Rod fires back at 162-game ban, calls MLB investigation ‘corrupt’
- Clippers focus on trying to stop rest of Thunder
- Slumping Cano insists he isn’t ‘pressing’ at the plate
- Report: Hit-and-run involving FSU player changed to 2 tickets by cops
- NCAA enforcement director defends investigators
- NCAA enforcement director defends investigators, acknowledges difficulties
- Police missed chance to investigate Aaron Hernandez after 2012 murders