The Latest: Police board head says group will meet soon

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Posted: Mar 28, 2016 7:11 PM
The Latest: Police board head says group will meet soon

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the city of Chicago's search for a new police superintendent (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

The president of the Chicago Police Board says the group will convene as soon as it is able to determine its next move in the city's effort to find a permanent police superintendent.

The statement from Lori Lightfoot comes after Mayor Rahm Emanuel bypassed the three finalists put forward by the board and announced the appointment Monday of department veteran Eddie Johnson as interim superintendent.

Emanuel chose the 27-year veteran who grew up in Chicago, who he said could bring about change from within. A city ordinance allows Emanuel to appoint an interim chief and ask the board for new finalists. He said he has asked Johnson to apply.

Lightfoot said while it is a "topic of great importance" she said the board must take time to make the best decision and will have no further comment in the meantime.

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3:15 p.m.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has officially announced his appointment of Chief of Patrol Eddie Johnson as the department's interim leader.

The mayor spoke Monday, calling Johnson well-respected in the department and citing his knowledge of the Chicago's communities and its people.

Johnson — whose appointment comes after Emanuel rejected three finalists recommended by a police board for the permanent position — said officers must both watch each other's backs and hold each other to a high standard.

Johnson, who is black, was born in Chicago and joined the police force as a patrolman in 1988. The mayor's office says he has a strong track record in fighting crime. When he was a deputy chief of patrol, his area led the city in 2013 with a 32 percent reduction in firearm-related violence.

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12:55 p.m.

A former Chicago police officer and leader among retired black officers says Eddie Johnson would be a great choice for police superintendent, but the way Mayor Rahm Emanuel is handling the process undermines public trust.

Richard Wooten told The Associated Press on Monday that Johnson inspires loyalty among patrol officers and "can quiet the storm" of mistrust in the community in the wake of police shootings. Emanuel has said he will appoint Johnson as the department's interim leader.

Wooten says, however, that the mayor's rejection of three nominees from the police board for the permanent job wastes taxpayer money and makes the process appear rigged. He says his group favored nominee Cedric Alexander, the public safety director in Georgia's DeKalb County.

Wooten worked on the force 23 years, including time under Johnson's command in the Gresham district.

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12:05 p.m.

The Black and Latino caucuses of the Chicago City Council say they didn't exclusively lobby for Chief of Patrol Eddie Johnson for interim police chief, but are pleased with Mayor Rahm Emanuel's choice.

The groups called on Emanuel for either a Latino or black leader from within the department. The appointment of Johnson, who's black, comes after Emanuel rejected three finalists recommended by a police board for the permanent position.

Black Caucus chairman Alderman Roderick Sawyer said Monday he was informed of the mayor's pick over the weekend. Johnson's name was previously floated, but Sawyer says he didn't mention him in conversations leading up to the announcement.

Latino Caucus chairman Alderman George Cardenas calls Johnson a "win-win candidate."

Emanuel is trying to replace Garry McCarthy, who was fired as the mayor tried to restore trust following the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager at the hands of a white officer.

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1:50 a.m.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to introduce a new interim superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

The mayor's office said in a statement late Sunday night that Emanuel is appointing Chicago Chief of Patrol Eddie Johnson as the department's interim leader. The statement said a news conference was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Emanuel is trying to replace Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired as the mayor tried to restore trust in the police department and his own leadership following the release in November of video showing a white officer shooting a black teenager 16 times.

Johnson's appointment comes after Emanuel rejected three finalists recommended by a police board for the permanent position.

Emanuel's office says Johnson is a Chicago native who joined the CPD as a patrolman in 1988.