City attorneys are trying to reverse the order Lightfoot testifies in the CPD whistleblower lawsuit

CHICAGO — City attorneys are asking a Cook County judge to reverse an earlier ruling to spare Mayor Lori Lightfoot from testifying about the alleged “code of silence” within the Chicago Police Department.

Last month, Cook County Judge Thomas More Donnelly ordered Lightfoot to give a one-hour testimony as part of a 2019 whistleblower lawsuit brought against the city by a CPD sergeant. Sergeant Isaac Lambert claims he faced retaliation and was demoted after refusing to classify another CPD officer as a victim of a controversial police shooting on the Far South Side in August 2017.

“They wanted me to change some reports to fit the narrative they wanted,” Lambert previously said. “They wanted this kid to be charged with aggravated assault and the elements just weren’t there.”

Lawyers for Lambert want to question Lightfoot about the alleged “code of silence” within the CPD. Before she was elected mayor, Lightfoot—then president of the Chicago Police Board—led the Police Accountability Task Force formed after Laquan McDonald’s shooting video was released.

The PATF released a report in April 2016 that found, among other things, “The collective bargaining agreements between the police unions and the city have essentially made the code of silence official policy.”

In his September 23 order, Donnelly said Lightfoot’s testimony must be made before October 15. However, city attorneys filed a motion on Sept. 29 asking the judge to reconsider his earlier decision. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday and the trial is set to begin next month, court filings show.

In their request for retrial, city attorneys said testimony from Lightfoot was nothing more than “an unnecessary oral questioning conducted for no articulate reason other than to harass and harass the highest elected official in the nation’s third-largest city.” bother”.

Lambert’s lawsuit stems from a police shooting on the Far South Side on August 13, 2017.

Sergeant Khalil Muhammad was driving near the 10900 block of South Hermosa when he saw Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes, an 18-year-old man with autism who had been reported missing from his nearby home hours earlier. Muhammad was off duty at the time, dressed in civilian clothes and driving a private vehicle.

Home security footage previously released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability shows Hayes running down the sidewalk before stopping near 10947 S. Hermosa. After stopping, Hayes took a few steps towards Muhammad’s vehicle, which was idling on the road about 20 feet away.

As Hayes stepped into the parkway, Muhammad fired two rounds. Hayes sustained a gunshot wound to his armpit, and the other bullet grazed his arm. After being shot, he ran away again, but was soon found by first responders.

In December 2019, the Chicago Police Board suspended Muhammad for six months. A federal lawsuit filed against the city on Hayes’ behalf was settled the following year for $2.25 million.

City attorneys earlier this year convinced another Cook County judge that Lightfoot should not participate in testimony in the sex abuse lawsuit filed against former CPD Supt. EddieJohnson. City attorneys are trying to reverse the order Lightfoot testifies in the CPD whistleblower lawsuit

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