In a dramatic show of force and unity, Chicago Police officers, led by Superintendent Eddie Johnson, packed a Cook County courtroom Wednesday morning during an appearance for Shomari Legghette, the accused killer of commander Paul Bauer.
The hearing was held in one of the Leighton Criminal Court house’s smallest venues, one of the so-called “fishbowl” courtrooms on the building’s second floor.
Those rooms, with only three rows of pews, feature a tiny public gallery separated from the well of the court by bulletproof glass.
But a stern-looking Johnson sat in the front row as other officers packed the room in the back. And when Legghette entered, all rose to their feet, in an apparent effort to make sure the accused cop-killer noted their presence.
Legghette, a four-time felon, faces 56 counts of first degree murder, armed violence, and weapons and drug charges. He is accused of shooting Bauer, a 31-year department veteran, six times during an incident last February in front of the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.
Legghette will appear in court again January 17.