Chicago Police

Eddie Johnson Admits to Having ‘A Couple of Drinks' Before Being Found Asleep in Vehicle Thursday Morning

Johnson made the admission in a conversation with Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson admitted to Mayor Lori Lightfoot that he “had a couple of drinks” the night before he was found asleep behind the wheel of his car earlier this week.

Johnson made the admission to the mayor during a conversation earlier this week. Mayor Lightfoot confirmed the conversation took place during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday. 

"He revealed to me that he had a couple of drinks with dinner," Lightfoot said in the interview. 

Lightfoot says that she will allow the investigation to play out before reaching conclusions. 

Johnson was found slumped behind the wheel of his car early Thursday morning after a motorist called 911, according to Chicago police. In a press conference Thursday, Johnson said that he was examined by responding officers, and that a breathalyzer test was not administered at the scene.

The superintendent was allowed to drive home.

In a statement, a Chicago Police Department spokesman says the department can’t confirm the superintendent’s admission, or comment, due to an internal investigation that the superintendent himself called for in the wake of the incident.

Johnson said that he began feeling lightheaded while he was driving home from dinner early Thursday morning, and that he pulled over his vehicle near his South Side home at approximately 12:30 a.m.

A passing motorist called 911 to report a motorist asleep at the wheel of his vehicle, and CPD officers responded to the scene.

When officers arrived at the scene, they checked Johnson's well-being and "did not observe any signs of impairment," according to a press release from the police department on Thursday. 

Johnson ordered an internal investigation of the incident, citing the need for “transparency.”

"Whether you are a poilce officer or a superintendent, all officers ought to be held to the highest standard," Johnson said through a spokesperson Thursday. 

Johnson said that he has been visiting physicians this week, and that his cardiologist had changed his blood pressure medication after his Tuesday appointment. Johnson said he failed to take his new medication, and that he believed that is what caused his lightheaded feeling.

"It's painful to admit this, but when (my doctor) adjusted my medication, I took my old medication out and failed to put my new medication in," he said. 

Johnson said he had visisted his neurologist on Thursday, and he confirmed the superintendent's elevated blood pressure. The doctor advised him to visit an emergency room as a precautionary measure, but Johnson instead attended the Chicago police board's hearing on Thursday night. 

After the meeting, Johnson checked into an area hospital for observation, and he was released Friday morning. 

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