A group of South and West side pastors prayed outside Chicago City Hall on Tuesday before asking Mayor Lori Lightfoot to keep disgraced former cop Robert Rialmo from ever being hired again by the city.
“It’s outrageous that Robert Rialmo thinks it’s his birthright to work for the city of Chicago,” said David Cherry, president of the Leaders Network.
The group on Tuesday hand-delivered a letter signed by 32 religious and civic leaders demanding that Rialmo be placed on the city’s “no-hire” list.
Rialmo was fired from the Chicago Police Department in 2019, four years after he fatally shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and his downstairs neighbor Bettie Jones following a controversial domestic call.
Rialmo has since been involved in a number of incidents including bar fights.
The former marine is suing the city to get his job back, but his attorney has stated that his client would accept a fire department position instead.
The Rev. Marshall Hatch compared Rialmo to Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with murder after kneeling on the neck of George Floyd.
“If Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis is a criminal, then Robert Rialmo is a criminal times two,” Hatch said.
A mayoral representative accepted the pastors’ letter outside her City Hall office telling the group, “the Mayor respects your wisdom on this and feels the same.”
Two weeks ago, when asked about the possibility of rehiring Rialmo, Lightfoot called him a coward who “has no place among the honorable men and women who wear the badge of the Chicago Police Department.”
The city of Chicago settled with the family of Bettie Jones for $16 million.
LeGrier’s family lost its civil suit on a technicality.
The pastors say Rialmo has not only hurt the city financially, but he has also done irreparable harm to the department’s relationship with their communities
Rialmo’s attorney has not responded to NBC Chicago’s calls for comment.