Eddie Johnson steps down as Chicago police chief

Courtesy: Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP
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CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he’s retiring after more than 30 years with the department, saying this is “the only home I’ve ever known.”

He made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday morning, a few hours after his spokesman confirmed the widespread speculation that Johnson was stepping down.

Johnson was named police superintendent in 2016 by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel and presided led the department during one of the most tumultuous periods in its history. When he took over, the city was experiencing a dramatic spike in gun violence. A big part of his job was to restore public confidence in the police force that had been shattered by a video of a white officer shooting a black teenager 16 times.

Johnson this week signaled he was close to retiring but insisted the decision had nothing to do with an investigation into a recent incident in which he was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV and his acknowledgement to the mayor that he’d had a ‘couple of drinks” with dinner that night.